|China Berry, Melia azedarach|
Photo Taken June 16, 2006. Florence, Arizona.
|China Berry Leaves.||China Berry Leaf.|
|China Berry Flowers.||Melia azedarach Flower.|
January 25, 2006.
|Green China Berries.|
June 16, 2006.
|China Berries||China Berries|
China Berry Tree.
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This is not really an Arizona Wildflower Tree, but we are including it on our wildflower page, since it is sometimes found by people, who think it is a wildflower tree.
The plant was introduced around 1830 as an ornamental in the United States (South Carolina and Georgia) and widely planted in southern states. It was also planted as an ornamental in Arizona. Today it is considered an invasive species.
Melia azedarach, commonly known as bead-tree or Cape lilac, is a species of deciduous tree in the mahogany family, Meliaceae, that is native of Pakistan, India, Indochina, Southeast Asia and Australia.
It is a deciduous tree up to about 50 foot in height, with stout twigs and purplish bark, dotted with buff-colored lenticels. The drupe berries are yellow at maturity, with a hard single seed that was used for making rosary beads, therefor the name Arbor Sancta.
Melia azedarach can be semi-invasive under moist conditions, the seed spread by birds. For this reason, in mediterranean climates, it should not be planted close to riparian wildlands. While only occasionally a problem in our dry summer climates, this species is regularly listed as invasive in summer rainfall areas.
The berries, under certain circumstances, can be poisonous to people and animals, though not to birds, who love them and often eat them .
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds.
Height: Height to about 50 feet.
Flowers: Flowers are fragrant, Blue to Violet. They are small with 5 petals surrounding a purple tube. The flowers occur in showy clusters at the ends of branches.
Flowering Time: March to May.
Leaves: Large up to 24 inches long and double-compound (having leaflets on leaflets). The leaves have long stems (petioles). Its leaflets are dark blue-green and have toothed margins and are pointed. The leaves alternate along the stem.
Trunk: Up to 2 feet in diameter.
Soil pH requirements:
Elevation: Can be found from 0 - 5,500 Feet.
Habitat: Used to be a very common landscape plant in Phoenix. Now difficult to find, except in older neighborhoods.
Miscellaneous: Photos Taken Glendale, Arizona. Flowers 05-05-2005. Seed Pods 12-04-2005.
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