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Trees

Neem (ಕಹಿಬೇವು)

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Neem (ಕಹಿಬೇವು)

Family : Meliaceae

Characteristic features:

Habit : Evergreen trees, to 20 m; bark greyish-brown, vertically striated; exudation red, sticky.

Leaves : imparipinnate, alternate, estipulate; rachis 14-30 cm long, slender, swollen at base, glabrous, leaflets 7-15, opposite or subopposite, estipellate; petiolule 3-5 mm long, slender, glabrous; lamina 4.5-7.5 x 1.5-2.5 cm, lanceolate or falcate, base oblique, apex acuminate, margin serrate, glabrous, coriaceous; lateral nerves 10-18 pairs, pinnate, slender, prominent, intercostae reticulate, faint.

Flowers : bisexual, 8 mm across, white, in axillary panicles; bracteoles scaly; pedicel 5 mm; sepals 5, connate at base, ovate, margin ciliate; petals 5, free, white, oblong-obovate, pubescent, spreading, imbricate; staminal tube 4 mm long, glabrous, apically 10 lobed; lobes truncate; anthers 10, slightly exserted, apiculate, opposite to lobes, sessile; ovary superior, globose, 3-celled; ovules 2 per cell; style slender, elongate; stigma terete, 3-lobed.

Fruit : a drupe, 1.5 x 0.5 cm, oblong-ovoid, greenish-yellow.

seed : one, surrounded by a sweet pulp.

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