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Plant Profile: Chinaberry Tree (Melia azedarach)

Melia azedarach lvsChinaberry Tree is a deciduous tree native to Asia and Australia that was brought to southern United States as an ornamental but has become a nuisance in some places. It adapts to a variety of conditions, has few pests or diseases, and grows rapidly to medium height. The dark green leaves are up to two feet long, and doubly pinnate with each leaflet having serrated margins and growing one to three inches long. Small, fragrant, lavender to purple flowers are produced in loose terminal clusters in spring and are followed round, yellow berry- like fruits that persist into winter and are eaten by birds although poisonous to mammals including humans. When cut, plants sucker and form dense stands, shading out native species. The leaf litter makes the soil more alkaline and appears to be allelopathic, further restricting the growth of other vegetation.

Melia azedarach flowers fruitOutstanding Features: Tolerance to varying soil conditions; flowers

Form: Rounded

Growth Rate: Rapid

Bloom: Terminal clusters of small lavender to purple flowers in spring

Size: 30-50’ H x 20-25’ W

Light: Full sunMelia azedarach flowers fruit

Soil: Average, moist to dry

Hardiness: Zones 8-10

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed.

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