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Azadirachta indica, also known as neem or Indian lilac, is a tree species native to the Indian subcontinent, but also found in other parts of Asia, Africa, and Australia. It is a medium-sized to large evergreen tree that can reach a height of 15-20 meters and a trunk diameter of up to 2.5 meters.
The leaves of Azadirachta indica are alternate, compound, and pinnate, with 20-31 medium to dark green leaflets that are ovate or elliptical in shape, and about 3-8 cm long and 1-3 cm wide. The leaves have a strong and bitter taste, and a pungent odor when crushed.
The tree produces small, white or pale yellow flowers that are arranged in axillary panicles that can reach up to 25 cm long. The flowers are fragrant and attract bees and other pollinators.
The fruit of Azadirachta indica is a drupe, about 1-2 cm long and 0.5-1 cm wide, with a thin, greenish-yellow skin that turns yellow as the fruit matures. The fruit contains a hard, pointed seed that is surrounded by a fleshy pulp.
Azadirachta indica has many traditional uses, and its various parts are used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine for a wide range of ailments, including skin diseases, fever, cough, and intestinal parasites. Neem is also used as a natural pesticide and insect repellent, and its oil is used in cosmetics, soaps, and shampoos. The tree is also used for its timber, which is strong and durable, and for its shade and ornamental value..
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