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MELIACEAE MAHOGANY FAMILY

Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock

[(Perennial herb), shrub] or tree; wood hard, often aromatic. Leaf: generally alternate, often clustered near stem tips, generally odd-2-pinnate, bases generally swollen; stipules 0. Inflorescence: panicle [raceme or umbel]. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; sepals generally 3–5, fused at base or not; petals generally 3–5, free [or ± fused at base or to filament tube]; stamens generally 8–12, filaments generally fused; disk generally between stamens and ovary; ovary superior, chambers generally 2–5, placentas axile, style generally 1, stigma generally head-like, lobed. Fruit: generally drupe. Seed: many, often winged or with an aril.
± 50 genera, ± 550 species: tropics, subtropics (some temperate). Timber, including mahogany (Swietenia). [Muellner et al. 2006 Molec Phylogen Evol 40:236–250] —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Pennington & Styles 1975 Blumea 22:419–540; Muellner et al. 2003 Amer J Bot 90:471–480]

MELIA BEAD TREE
Leaf: deciduous, petioled. Inflorescence: panicle; flowers many. Flower: white or purple; sepals generally 5; petals generally 5; filament tube 10–12-lobed at tip (lobes sometimes further divided), anthers 10–12; pistil surrounded by, ± = filament tube, ovary chambers 5–8, style ± as wide as ovary, stigma.
± 10 species: tropical Asia, Australia. (Greek: ash tree, from leaf shape)
Unabridged references: [Miller 1990 J Arnold Arbor 71:453–486]

M. azedarach L. CHINA BERRY, PERSIAN LILAC
NATURALIZED
Tree, < 10 m. Stem: branches broadly spreading; bark furrowed. Leaf: ± 20–40 cm; 1° leaflets ± 5–9; 2° leaflets generally 5–7 per 1° leaflet, 2.5–5 cm, ovate to lanceolate, toothed. Flower: white to lilac, fragrant; sepals ± 2–3 mm; petals ± 5 mm, oblong; filament tube ± 5 mm, purple, aging black. Fruit: 10–15 mm, spheric, yellow. Seed: 1, bony.
Washes, riparian areas, coastal scrub, or persisting near old habitations; < 1280 m. San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast, San Gabriel Mountains, San Bernardino Mountains, Peninsular Ranges; native to southeastern Asia, northern Australia. Fast-growing, used in reforestation; fruit pulp mildly toxic; seeds used for beads. Mar–Jul [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Aug 20 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Melia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=33069, accessed on Aug 20 2014

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click for enlargement Melia azedarach
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© 2007 Luigi Rignanese

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Melia azedarach Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.