SelecTree: Tree Detail

CHINABERRY
Melia azedarach

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Photo Locations: Maui, HI, Bakersfield, CA and Temecula, CA

General Notes

This plant is weedy. We do not recommend planting it in Hawai’i.

These trees are often seen growing in areas of abandoned farm houses, so are probably fairly drought tolerant, despite their preference for moist soil conditions. Seeds are highly poisonous although some birds prefer them and are not affected. The main utility of chinaberry is its timber. In Kenya the trees have been grown by farmers and used as fodder trees. The leaves can be fed to cattle to improve milk yields and improve farm incomes. Melia azedarach has a HPWRA (Hawai'i Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score of 14 (High Risk).

 

Has fragrant Flower.

Native to China and Northern India.

Family: Meliaceae

Additional Common Names

CHINABERRY, CHINABERRY TREE, BEAD TREE, PERSIAN LILAC, PRIDE-OF-INDIA

Tree Characteristics

Erect or Spreading with a High Canopy.

Rounded or Spreading Shape.

Has Deciduous foliage.

Height: 30 - 50 feet.

Width: 15 - 25 feet.

Growth Rate: 36 Inches per Year.

Longevity 40 to 150 years.

Leaves Bipinnately Compound, Dark Green, Golden or Yellow or Orange, Deciduous.

Flowers Showy. Fragrant Lavender. Flowers in Spring or Summer. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).

Prolific, Yellow Berry, Small (0.25 - 0.50 inches), fruiting in Fall, Winter or Summer.

Bark Dark Brown, Fissured.

Shading Capacity Rated as Dense in Leaf.

Shading Capacity Rated as Moderate out of Leaf.

Litter Issue is Dry Fruit.

Tree Site Conditions & Constraints

Sunset Zones 6 - 24; H1, H2.

USDA Hardiness Zones 8 - 12.

Exposure Full Sun to Partial Shade.

Moist Soil.

Drought tolerant.

Loam or Sand Texture.

Highly Acidic to Highly Alkaline Soil pH.

Salinity Tolerance is Good Inland and on Coast.

Seaside Tolerance is Good in Mild Zone.

Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns

Branch Strength Rated as Weak.

Root Damage Potential Rated as Moderate.

Irritant and Poisonous Health Hazard.

Attracts Birds.

Not Deer Palatable.

Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Melia azedarach Tree Record." 1995-2020. Aug 14, 2020.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/melia-azedarach >

This tree is not part of the SelecTree Nursery Connection. If you would like to see this tree listed, or know of a nursery that sells it, please contact us at ufei@calpoly.edu.