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Azadirachta excelsa


Azadirachta excelsa

Family Name: Meliaceae
Synonyms: Melia excelsa
Common Name: Giant Neem Tree, Sentang, Setan, Setang


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Status (botanical)
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Plant Growth Form Tree
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic


Native Distribution Indonesia, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Papua New Guinea, Vietnam
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status Non-native

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Large tree, able to grow up to about 45 - 50 m tall.
Trunk Trunk is usually clear up to 20 m tall, girth size can be up to 12.5 m wide, bark is smooth when young and becomes fissured in older trees.
Foliage Green leaves, alternate arrangement, measuring about 30 - 60 cm long, each leaf has about 7 - 11 pairs of lanceolate to elliptic leaflets measuring about 12.5 cm long and 3.5 cm wide.
Flowers Greenish-white fragrant flowers borne on axillary panicle inflorescences up to 70 cm long, each flower measuring about 0.5 - 0.65 cm long and 0.15 - 0.25 cm wide, 5-petaled.
Fruits Fruit is an oblong drupe, measuring about 2.4 - 3.2 cm long, turns from green to yellow when ripen, contains 1 seed.
Etymology Genus Azadirachta is from the Persian word "azad dhirakat" which means "excellent tree" and refers to the economic importance of the plants in the same genus. Species excelsa means tall or imminent.
Ethnobotanical Uses Food (Fruit & Vegetable : In Peninsular Malaysia, the young shoots, leaves and flowers are consumed as a vegetable.)
Timber & Products ( Wood can be used to make furniture. Oil obtained from the seeds is used to make soap.)

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Flowers, Fragrant
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Moist Soils, Well-Drained Soils
Landscape Uses Roadside Tree / Palm, Parks & Gardens

Fauna, Pollination and Dispersal

Fauna Pollination Dispersal Associated Fauna Bird Attracting

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Moderate Water
Plant Growth Rate Moderate
Propagation Method Seed


Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Alternate
Foliar Margin Entire
Leaf Area Index (LAI) for Green Plot Ratio 3.0 (Tree - Intermediate Canopy)

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower Colour(s) Green, White
Flower Grouping Cluster / Inflorescence
Flower Location Axillary

Image Repository



Master ID 1444
Species ID 2737
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 21 December 2021.