Form: large round tree; crown shape varies
Size: 30-40ft with equal spread; very fast growth rate
Leaves: dark green, bipinnately compound; leaflets 1-2in long, leaf overall 2-3ft long; oval coming to point on end; degree of serration varies; yellow color in fall (see notes)
Flowers: large panicle of purple flowers; aromatic (like grape kool-aide); bloom in spring
Fruit: very hard marble-sized round fruit; yellow; dangerous underfoot
Stems/Trunks: notoriously weak-wooded; branch angles are also weak; branches break in wind or split for no apparent reason
Range/Origin: north India and western China
foliage and developing fruit
on Melia azedarach
Hardiness: low teens or better
- quick-growing shade
- color when in bloom
- Exposure: full sun, reflected heat
- Water: moderate; tolerates a wide range of water levels
- Soil: tolerant, good drainage
- Propagation: seed
- Maintenance: high; flower drop, seed drop; round, hard seeds are a serious hazard on walkways
Fall color is only seen in regions with gradual temperature changes. In Tucson, in some years the change to cold season temperatures occurs too abruptly, and the leaves drop without ever turning yellow.
An old-fashioned landscape plant, not much in demand currently.
var. 'Texas umbrella' has a more rounded canopy
fruit is mildly toxic to humans but enjoyed by birds
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This page was first created July 6, 2001 and last modified July 4, 2004.
Web page design and photographs by Toni Moore, Master Gardener
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