Azadirachta indica (Neem)

Taxonomy

Kingdom:
Plantae
Division:
Angiospermae
Class:
Magnoliopsida
Order:
Sapindales
Family:
Meliaceae
Genus:
Azadirachta
Species :
A. indica
Height:
49 - 65 Feet
Leaf Size:
20 - 40 cm
Leaf Type:
Pinnate

Commonly known as Neem, it is the official tree of the Sindh region and is very common in all cities of Sindh. Neem trees also grow on islands in the southern part of Iran where it is called "Cherish". Its fruits and seeds are the source of Neem oil.

Native Area: West and South India

Requirement

Soil: Well-drained, Loamy, Clayey and Black Cotton

Sunlight: -

Utility

Medicinal: Used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine for treatment of skin diseases, imporving liver functioning, blood detoxification and balancing blood sugar levels

Flowers: Flowers of the neem tree are eaten as a vegetable in India

Fruit: Neem oil - a vegetable oil pressed from the fruits. The fruit pulp is also used in the production of methane

Importance

Religious: Neem flowers are very popular for their use in 'Ugadi Pachhadi' (soup-like pickle), which is made on Ugadi day - the Kannada New Year. Small amounts of Neem and Jaggery (Bevu-Bella) is consumed on Ugadi day indicating that one should take both bitter and sweet things in life.

Cultural: Neem leaves and flowers are used as a form of decoration and also to ward off evil spirits and infections.Newly born babies are laid upon Neem tree leaves to provide them with a protective aura.