Renowned tree native to the Indian sub-continent, known for its myriad uses in medicine and pest control.
A fast-growing tree to about 40-50ft, but occasionally up to 80ft. It is generally an evergreen, but in extreme droughts or stress, may shed its leaves.
To about 32F, though it will tolerate short drops below freezing.
The Neem tree is a hardy one, able to survive drought conditions, temperatures well over 100F and intense heat. It will succumb to prolonged or hard freezes. It thrives in mildly tropical/humid climates or sub-arid climates, but will tolerate extremes in either direction. It will grow in most soil types, although it does quite well in sandy soils.
Historically the tree has been used for a wide range of medical disorders and is sometimes dubbed the "village pharmacy". Typically parts of the tree are used in the production of neem oil which is then used in all kinds of soaps and cosmetics. Twigs were once used as toothbrushes. The tree is also planted in arid regions to provide shade and soil amendment for other plants. The tender shoots and flowers are edible and used in some local cuisine. Can be used as a treatment for scabies. Neem oil has become popular in recent years as an effective and non-toxic pesticide. A number of commercially available anti-pest sprays incorporate neem oil as an active ingredient.
Native to India and Burma.