Melia azedarach L.

Chinaberry, Bead Tree




Family: Meliaceae

Genus: Melia

Category: Tree - Deciduous

Zones: 7 to 10

Size: 30 to 40' tall and wide

Growth Rate: Fast

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


ID: Alternate, compound leaves, swollen area where leaf meets stem, heavy lenticels, berry looks like a miniature apple, 1/2" across, yellow-orange color.

Small, fragrant lilac flowers in spring. Clusters of bead-like fruits ripen in late summer and may persist through winter. Grows easily from seed and is considered a pest or weed tree in warmer areas.

Rounded habit. Can be rather ungainly in winter.

Fruits and tea from the leaves are poisonous.



Native to northern India and China. In cultivation since the 16th century in England.

Published in Sp. Pl. 1: 384 in 1753.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner