Taxonomy Of Melia Dubia

Melia Compostia Willd

Syn: MELIA DUBIA Cav; M.dubia Hiem non Cav.M.robusta Roxb; M.superba Rexb

Local Names

Assamese – Dingkurlong, Bengali – Ghora-nim, mahanim; Gujarati – Kadu-kajar, ambaro, limbaro, nibara; Hindi – Ghora-nim, mahanim; Kannada – Heb-bevu, karibevan, bevu, tetta-bevu; kadbevu; Malayalam – Malei-vembu, kattu-veppu, malayembu; Marathi – Kuriaput; Oriya – Maha-limbu, batra; Tamil – Mala-vembu; Telugu – Munnatikaraka, munnuthi-karaka; Urdu-Labshi, kala-khajur.

Trade Name – Malabar Neem Wood.


Growth Habit

It is fairly large, handsome, deciduous tree, attaining a girth of 1.2-1.5m and a height of about 20m, with a spreading crown and a cylindrical, straight bole of about 9m. An exceptionally large tree measured in South Chanda Division, Maharashtra, had a height of 32 m and a girth of 2.7m at breast height (12)


Young branches densely clothed with stellate pubescence, ultimately smooth. Bark reddish-brown or dark brown, exfoliating in thin, narrow strips. Blaze thin, crimson, then white. Leaves clustered towards the ends of the brances, bi-sometimes tri-pinnate, 20-75 cm long; pinnate up to 20 cm long, 3 foliate or with up to 3-6 pairs of leaflets; ultimate leaflets ofpposite 2-7.5 cm x 0.6-3.8 cm (the terminal the larges), (mostly ovate-lanceolate, acute or acuminate, crenate or crenulate; base acute or rounded, more or less oblique; petiolules 0.3 – 0.6 cm long. Flowers greenish-white, 0.6-1.0 cm long. Fragrant in stellately-pubescent, many-flowered, branched panicles shorter than the leaves. Caly x 5 partite. Petals 0.6 cm long, linear-spathulate. Drupes ovoid or ellips id 2-4 cm x 1.8-2.3 cm, yellowish, smooth, with very hard endocarp and one seed



General Distribution

It is a tree of the eastern Himalayas, ascending upto 1800m in North Bengal and in the Khasi and Cachar hill trats. It is also found in the Peninsula from the Ganjam hills southwards to Tirunelveli in the east and rom the Konkan southwards in the west. It is usually seen in deciduous hill forests in the Northern Circars, Nallamalai hills and Western Ghats from South Kanara southwards (Fig.XXI-17). It also occurs in Sikkim and Bhutan.

Site Factors

In its natural habitat, the absolute maximum shade temperature varies from 37.5 – 47.5 C and the absolute minimum from 0 – 15 and the absolute minimum from 0-15 C. The mean daily maximum temperature in May, which is generally the hottest summer month varies from 30 – 42.5 C. The mean daily minimum temperature in January, which is the coldest month of the year, varies from 7 – 21 C. It does well in moist regions, with a mean annual rainfall exceeding 1000mm. The mean relative humidity in July varies from 70-90% and in January from 50-80%.


It is commonly found in the hills at elevations ranging from 600-1800m

Occurrence In Forest Types

In occurs in Tropical moist and dry deciduous forests in the following sub-types as distinguished by CHAMPION & SETH (1968)

  • Very most teak forst (3B/Cla) in association with teak, terminalia crenulate, Grewia tiliaifolia, Lagerstrocmia lanceolata, Dalbergia latifolia etc.,
  • Northern secondary moist mixed deciduous forest (3C/2S1), in association with Mangifera indica, Anthocephalus cadamba, Alstonia scholaris, Dillenia pentagyno, etc.,
  • Northern dry mixed deciduous forest (5B/C2), in association with Adina cordifolia, Largestroemia parviflora, Anogeissus latifolia, terminalia spp, clerstanthus collinus, etc.,