Ugadi pachadi half-done as Hyderabad runs low on neem flowers

Until a few years ago, neem — an evergreen tree species known for its medicinal properties — was available all over the city.

Published: 11th April 2021 01:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th April 2021 11:08 AM   |  A+A-

A neem tree spotted in the city

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: ‘Ugadi pachadi’ is a popular dish consumed in every Telugu household on Ugadi, or the Telugu New Year’s Day, which is just three days away. Prepared using raw mango, tamarind and jaggery, the recipe’s chief ingredient is quite special — flowers from the neem tree. Unfortunately, for many Telugus in Hyderabad, finding a neem teem, that too one bearing flowers, is an arduous task. 

Until a few years ago, neem — an evergreen tree species known for its medicinal properties — was available all over the city. But their numbers have consistently come down. Case in point is the Nimboli adda near Kachiguda in the city. The locality, which supposedly got its name for being home to many neem trees, does not have more than a couple of young neem trees now. Flower-bearing trees are a rarity here. 

One reason behind the decline in the number of neem trees, apart from deforestation, is the infestation of a parasite creeper called loranthus or Honey Suckle Mistletoe, as per officials of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) dealing with urban biodiversity. The parasitic creeper anchors itself onto the branches of neem trees and sucks water and nutrients directly from them, weakening the host. 

To protect the neem tree, control measures against the parasite are imperative. The creepers must be removed in the early stages of infestation, or they should be sawn off from the branches of its host.GHMC officials admit that the dwindling number of neem trees in the city is a cause of concern and they, along with the HMDA, are taking up plantation of neem saplings as part of the Telangana Ku Haritha Haram programme. 


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp