Melia azedarach

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Melia azedarachFamily: Meliaceae
Genus: Melia
Common names: White cedar
ALA reference

The tree that flowered in October last year is now covered in bunches of bright yellow poisonous fruit. This makes it obvious why it is given the common name of Chinaberry. The leaves are frequently attacked by masses of large hairy caterpillars and the damage to this tree is obvious. Even though the timber from this tree is much sought after as a cabinet timber it is rarely grown in plantations because of the tree’s susceptibility to insect damage. The tree is deciduous and it will lose all its leaves before dropping the fruit. (May 2008)

This is normally a small to medium sized tree but can grow to 30 metres in its natural habitat. It is deciduous and produces masses of lilac coloured flowers with the new growth in spring. The flowers are followed by bunches of yellow fruit to 12 mm in diameter which persist on the trees until after
the leaves fall in autumn. The fruit is poisonous. It is widely cultivated as an ornamental tree in Australia and in many other countries throughout the world. (October 2007)

Melia azedarach