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Melia azedarach

SynonymsMelia azadirach, Melia japonica var. semperflorens Makino
Common namesChinaberry, China tree, Chinaball tree, Persian lilac, pride of India, Indian Lilac, bead tree, Texas umbrella tree
Ecocrop code7681

DESCRIPTION: A small to medium sized deciduous tree reaching a height of 6-15 m or exceptionally up to 30 m with a short bole and a spreading crown. The trunk can become 30-60 or even 80 cm in diameter, but tree with large dimensions are often hollow. It is often cultivated for its handsome clusters of pale purplish fragrant flowers. USES: The wood is utilized for furniture, cabinetwork, plywood, boxes, tool handles, turnery articles, and firewood. The leaves and fruit have insecticidal properties. Fruits, flowers, leaves, bark, and roots have medicinal properties. The berries are toxic to animals. An oil can be extracted fro the berries and used for illumination. It is a sacred tree in parts of Asia and it is grown as an ornamental and shade tree. It is mentioned as a agroforestry species. KILLING T.: Young seedlings are frost tender. GROWING PERIOD: Short-lived perennial. Under good conditions it may grow up to 1.7 m in height per year and is often grown on short rotations, replacement often necessary after 20 years. The tree can withstand a drought period of 6 months. COMMON NAMES China berry, Persian lilac, Bead tree, Pride of India, Chinatree, Pride of China, Umbrella tree, Umbrella Chinaberry, Indian lilac, Bakain, Drek, Dek, Yerri vepa, Vempu, Pejri, Padrai, Bakainu, Thamga, Mindi, Inia, Paraiso, Alelaila, Jacinto, Aleli, West Indian lilac, Lilac, Paradise tree, Lilas, Cinnamomo, Bastard cedar, Cape lilac, White cedar, Bois rouge. FURTHER INF.: Scientific synonym: M. orientalis. China berry is native of southern Asia, probably Pakistan and northern India and is now widespread in tropical and subtropical areas. It can be found at elevations up to 2000 m. In drier areas it performs well on wet soils along rivers or when irrigated. Its fruits are poisonous and have killed pigs but cattle and birds reportedly eat the fruit. It is not windfirm.
Boland D 1984 pp 14 [USE]
Troup R 1921 pp 183-185 [USE, KTMP, LIG]
Little E 1983 pp 194-197 [USE, LIMITS, KTMP, RAIN, TEXT, SAL, DRA, DEP]
Hensleigh T 1988 pp 219-222 [USE, DEP, DRA, TEXT, KTMP, TEMP, RAIN, LIG, LIMITS]
National RC 1983c pp 40-41 [USE, TEMP, KTMP, RAIN, TEXT, DRA, DEP]