Malabar Neem
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Malabar Neem
ative Photo: P. Samydurai
Common name: Malabar Neem • Hindi: kadukhajur • Kannada: ಹೆಬ್ಬೇವು Hebbevu, ತುರುಕುಬೇವು Turukubevu, ಬೆಟ್ಟಬೇವು, Bettabevu • Malayalam: malavepu • Marathi: kariaput, khaali khajoor • Sanskrit: arangaka • Tamil: malai vembu • Telugu: munnatikaaraka • Mizo: Sakhithei
Botanical name: Melia dubia    Family: Meliaceae (Neem family)
Synonyms: Melia composita

Malabar Neem is a deciduous trees, up to 20 m high, bark 6-8 mm thick, dark brown, rough, warty, peeling in rectangular, long and broad peels. Young shoots and inflorescence are scurfy velvet-hairy. Leaves are 2-3 pinnate, (rarely 1-pinnate), imparipinnate, attenuate, rachis 10-30 cm long, round, slender, swollen at base, scurfy velvet-hairy when young. Side-stalks are 3-7 pairs, 10-20 cm long; leaflets 2-11 on each pinnae, opposite, leaflet-stalks are 3-10 mm long, slender. Leaflets are 4.5-9 x 2-4 cm, ovate-lanceolate, base oblique, narrow obtuse, round or attenuate, tip long-pointed, margin entire or toothed, hairless at maturity, leathery, lateral nerves 6-10 pairs, pinnate, slender, prominent; intercostae reticulate, prominent. Flowers are greenish white, 8 mm long, fragrant, in stellately pubescent, many- flowered branched panicles shorter than the leaves; peduncles long; pedicels short. Calyx stellately tomentose outside, deeply divided; lobes ovate, erect,ciliate. Petals 6 mm long, linear- spathulate, concave, pubescent outside, puberulous within, ciliate. Staminal tube scarcely 6 mm long, slightly expanded at the mouth, 10- toothed ( the teeth bifid), silky puberulous on both surfaces; anthers exserted,pubescent, longer than the teeth. Ovary glabrous 5-celled; style little longer than the staminal tube, overtopped by the apiculate anthers; stigma cylindric, 5- toothed; teeth erect. Malabar Neem is found in South India.

Identification credit: P. Samydurai Photographed in Tamil Nadu.

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