Exotic neem tree
Scientific name: Azadirachta indica,
A small to medium-sized, usually evergreen tree, up to 15(—30) m tall with round, large crown up to 10(—20) m in diameter; branches spreading; bole branchless for up to 7.5 m, up to 90 cm in diameter, sometimes fluted at base; bark moderately thick, with small scattered tubercles, deeply fissured and flaking in old trees, dark grey outside and reddish inside, with colourless, sticky foetid sap. In its native Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, neem is found in a large belt extending southwards from Delhi and Lahore to Cape Comorin.
Neem has proved effective against certain fungi that infect humans used to treat boils, pimples, eye diseases, hepatitis, leprosy, rheumatism, scrofula, ringworm and ulcers
The leaves, though very bitter, are used as a dry season fodder. A. indica fruit is an important source of food for some wildlife, especially birds and bats, although they digest only the pulp, not the seed.
Sources of food (Fruits are eaten fresh or cooked, or prepared as a dessert or lemonade-type drink). The young twigs and flowers are occasionally consumed as vegetables. The plant is a good sources of wood and oil Fuel(Charcoal made from A. indica wood is of excellent quality and the wood has long been used as firewood. Its oil is burned in lamps). The wood is, used to make wardrobes, bookcases and closets, as well as packing cases because its insect repellent quality helps to protect the contents from insect damage. indica oil produced in Asia on an industrial scale for soaps, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals and other non-edible products.
The plant has been used to make some Neem-based pesticides include Azadi, Fortune Azadi, It acts as an insect repellant, inhibiting feeding, and disrupting insect growth, metamorphosis and reproduction. Azadirachtin can inhibit moulting, preventing larvae from developing into pupae. Its has been proven effective as an antifeedant on about 100 insect species. Thus the extracts work especially well to protect plants from defoliation without affecting beneficial pollinating insects like honeybees. A traditional agricultural practice involves the production of ‘neem tea’. The seeds are dried, crushed and soaked in water overnight to produce a liquid pesticide that can be applied directly to crops. Crushed seed kernels are also used as a dry pesticide application, especially to control stem borers on young plants.