Characteristics of Neem Tree (Azadirachta indica) in the Wild

Azadirachta indica
Neem or Indian lilac is a species of tree in the Meliaceae family, in the genus Azadirachta, which is a native flora of India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. This tree is also found growing on islands located in southern Iran.

Neem trees usually grow in tropical and semi-tropical regions. It is known as a resilient tree because it can withstand drought with an annual rainfall of 400-1,200 mm. However, it can also survive despite annual rainfall below 400 mm.

Besides being resistant to drought, neem trees are also tolerant of various types of soil, but it grows most fertile in deep and sandy soil and has an average air temperature of 21-32 °C, although this tree can tolerate hot temperatures, but does not survive at temperatures below 4 °C.

Neem trees are one of the few shade trees that thrive in arid regions, for example in the southern districts of India and Pakistan. Neem trees there do not affect water quality, as long as there is water (whatever the quality) they can grow.

In India and hot tropical countries, neem trees are very commonly used for road shading, temple yards, school grounds, and others.

 

Characteristics of Neem Leaf

Azadirachta indica Leaf
Source : flickr.com/Forest and Kim Starr

The leaves are pinnate, containing about 20-30 leaflets, each leaflet has a length of 20-40 cm and is dark green.

 

Characteristics of Neem Flower

Azadirachta indica Flower
Source : flickr.com/Forest and Kim Starr

The flowers are white and fragrant, arranged in axillary panicles drooping along 20-25 cm.

 

Characteristics of Neem Fruit

Azadirachta indica Fruit
Source : flickr.com/Green Light Images

The oval-shaped fruit is almost round, smooth, and 2-3 cm long. The skin is thin, the flesh is bitter-sweet, yellowish-white, and very fibrous.

 

Characteristics of Neem Tree

Azadirachta indica Tree
Source : wikimedia.org/Adityamadhav83

Neem is a tree that grows quickly, in the wild it can reach heights of 20-25 meters. The tree is always green-leaved, but in the severe dry season, it sometimes kills some or almost all of its leaves.

Its branches are wide and spread. The crown is densely round and can reach diameters of up to 25 meters. Its shape in nature is very similar to the Chinaberry tree (Melia azedarach).

Neem trees are considered as weed trees in many areas, including the Middle East, West Africa, and countries in the Indian Ocean, especially Australia.

 
BENEFITS OF NEEM TREE

Neem is a tree that is used as an ingredient in traditional medicines which has been used in India for more than 2000 years. The drug is believed by Siddha and Ayurvedic practitioners as anthelmintic, antifungal, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antiviral, contraceptive, and sedative.

The tree as a producer of many neems. Neem oil is used for healthy hair, improving liver function, detoxifying blood, and balancing blood sugar levels.

Neem leaf has been used to treat skin diseases such as eczema, psoriasis, etc.

In India, neem leaves are often dried, then placed in a cupboard to prevent insects from eating clothes.

Meem fruit seeds are the main ingredient in the management of non-pesticides (NPM), which provide a natural alternative to synthetic pesticides.

 

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