Syringa Berrytree

Melia azedarach

Cape-Lilac, Chinaberry Tree, Indian Lilac, Persian-Lilac, Sichuan Pagoda-Tree, Texas Umbrella-Tree, Lelah, Paraiso, Pride Of India, Tulip-Cedar, Umbrella-Cedar, White Cedar

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A large spreading tree growing up to 23m high with reddish-brown, smooth bark. Often grown in South Africa as street trees or in large gardens for shade. The leaves, bark, flowers and ripe fruit (berries) are poisonous. The tree is a good source of timber and the dried berries were used as beads.
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Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Flowering time

Spring, Summer

Fruiting time

Autumn, Winter

Harvesting

Generally not harvested.

Propagation

Seed

Seeds germinate easily, sow seed as temperatures warm up in spring in situ or into pots.

Special features

Drought resistant

The tree can withstand long dry spells.

Attracts useful insects

Attracts bees

Attracts birds

Many birds species feed on the berries and spread them.

Special features

Origin

Australasia

Natural climate

Temperate, Savanna

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Clay, Loam

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Hardy

Uses

Timber

The main utility of chinaberry is its timber. It has a timber of high quality, but as opposed to many almost-extinct species of mahogany, it is under-utilised. Seasoning is relatively simple, in that planks dry without cracking or warping and are resistant to fungal infection.

Landscaping

Often used as street trees.

Personality

Family

Meliaceae

Flower colour

Purple

Scent

Strong

Problems

Generally problem free.

Companion plants

Under-plant with plants that have strong root systems and love shade.
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Knowledge and advice

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