Re: Neem Trees - Publicity not always hype

>Does anyone know anything about Neem trees (Azadirachta indica).  
>Recently I have seen a lot of hype about Neem trees and how they 
>are a tropical evergreen tree of environmental promise...  
Jay Ostaffe, 
As the Neem is a very adaptable, fast-growing, drought-resistant, tall and
handsome evergreen shade tree, it is useful for reforestation on a variety
of soils. A constituent of the seed, chemically known as azadirachtin, is
highly effective against virtually all chewing, biting, and sucking insects
that afflict plants, e.g. aphids, whitefly, mealybugs, caterpillars. 
Azadirachtin is now being extracted commercially from Neem seed and
marketed as a spray concentrate in North America (with EPA approval) and
the UK under such trade names as Margosan-O, BioNEEM, and Neemix. Not
inexpensive to date, but it does work and is innocuous (so far as yet
known) to birds and mammals. The LD50 rating is >13,000. 
The Neem is native to the Indian subcontinent where branches long have been
hung in village granaries to ward off insect predators. All parts of the
tree have been used for centuries in folk medicines to treat a great many
different ailments of man and beast. Sounds like the perfect plant, but in
hospitable soils and climates it escapes easily and can become invasive.
Probably would do well in southern Florida if not already there. Have about
20 Neem trees and would be glad to send seeds when next available to anyone
furnishing a conventional mailing address. Once harvested, however, the
viability of the seeds is brief. 
Warm regards, 
William Glover                                  email:
Mango Corners, Jones Estate             fax:   809-469-0119  
NEVIS, West Indies