Table of Contents
Azadirachta indica (L) A. Juss. Family
Azadirachta indica (L) A. Juss. English Name
Azadirachta indica (L) A. Juss. Local Name
Azadirachta indica (L) A. Juss. Description
A medium to large, usually evergreen tree, 12 to 25 m tall with a diameter of 0.57 to 0.86 m. The crown is broad, dense. Spreading and rounded. The leaves are compound, with the leaflets 2.5 to 7 cm long, and lance shaped with long points and 4 to 7 pairs of leaflets on each leaf. Edges of the leaflets are toothed. The bark is dark grey, lightly furrowed and broken in irregularly shaped scales. The flowers are small, white and with the fragrance of honey, occur in dense bunches and appear between March and April. The fruit is a fleshy drupe containing one seed enclosed in a hard shell. Each fleshy drupe is greenish, oblong 15 to 2 cm long. The drupe is yellow when fully ripe. The fruiting period is June to August. It coppices easily and has few insect and disease problems. It is reproduced both from seed and by vegetative means. Seed has low viability and does not store well. It must be collected when it is mature and planted as soon after collection as possible. Growth rates are high. On rotations of 8 years yield of 5 to 18 m3/ha have been recorded. Coppice stands seem to grow faster than seedling stands. Sapwood is greyish white, heartwood is red fading to reddish brown with age, darkening on exposure. Grains are uneven, interlocking, dull to somewhat lustrous having specific gravity of 0.68 and a calorific value of 4990 kcal/kg.
Azadirachta indica (L) A. Juss. Distribution
A native tree to India, Pakistan. Nepal. Afghanistan, Burma, China and Sri Lanka. In Pakistan it is found in the Sindh, southern Punjab, and lower Balochistan, has been identified as far west as Sarai Alamgir. But has not been recorded west of the Jhelum River. A moderately tolerant tree that withstands some shade at an early age. It grows on soils which vary from rich loams to nutrient deficient sites which are not saline or waterlogged and where the water table is above 18 m. It requires a precipitation zone of 300 to 1150 mm/yr and prefers an arid, hot tropical and subtropical climate with a temperature range of 1 to 45°C. It is not frost hardy and grass competition will prevent its establishment.
Azadirachta indica (L) A. Juss. Uses
A drought hardy tree that grows fast even on poor sites. It has potential as a farm forestry tree especially in those areas where frost is not a problem. The tree has achieved world fame due to its medicinal value and should be propagated on a large scale in Southern Punjab and Sindh. Also used in Furniture, fodder, wood carving, medicinal (leaves as a febrifuge extract as a cure of typhoid), timber, agriculture implements and tannin. Oil (from the seed) is marketed as a pesticide, vermifuge, and a contraceptive.