Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Melia azedarach

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MeliaceaeView Description 

Habit: [(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.
Genera In Family: +- 50 genera, +- 550 species: tropics, subtropics (some temperate). Timber, including mahogany (Swietenia).
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: MeliaView Description 

Common Name: 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.
Species In Genus: +- 10 species: tropical Asia, Australia. Etymology: (Greek: ash tree, from leaf shape)

Melia azedarach L.
Habit: 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.
Ecology: Washes, riparian areas, coastal scrub, or persisting near old habitations; Elevation: < 1280 m. Bioregional Distribution: SnFrB, SCo, SnGb, SnBr, PR; Distribution Outside California: native to southeastern Asia, northern Australia. Flowering Time: Mar--Jul Note: Fast-growing, used in reforestation; fruit pulp mildly toxic; seeds used for beads.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock 2017. Melia azedarach, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2017.

Geographic subdivisions for Melia azedarach:
SnFrB, SCo, SnGb, SnBr, PR;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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.