Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 16 October 2019

Plant profile: Neem tree

Part of the mahogany family meliaceae, the Azadirachta indica resists drought.
Donna Torres for The National
Donna Torres for The National

The Azadirachta indica tree, known also as the neem, nimtree or Indian lilac, is part of the mahogany family meliaceae, and is one of two species in the genus Azadirachta. It’s native to the ­Indian subcontinent, and typically grown in tropical and semi-tropical regions.

This fast-growing, lush tree can reach 10 metres in height, and features dense foliage that forms a large rounded crown. New leaves are bright green, but darken with maturity, and comprise seven to nine pairs of leaflets. Clusters of small, white, fragrant flowers cover the tree in spring, while it yields olive-sized green fruits that turn black as they age. 

Its resilience makes it ideal for UAE gardens, with a very dense canopy and thus deep shade. It’s drought- and moderately salt-­tolerant, and propagation is easily done from fresh seeds. 

alane@thenational.ae

Updated: January 5, 2017 04:00 AM

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