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Melia azedarach

Plant Family


Alternative Common Names

Cape lilac, texas umbrella.

Large deciduous tree, growing to 15m high, the bark grey-brown and more or less furrowed.

Leaves - alternate, large, each consisting of several pairs of “branches” along which are borne about 11 leaflets, the leaflets more or less toothed on the margins, ovate, 2.5-7.5cm long.

Flowers - lilac, fragrant, 5 petalled, borne in loose panicles in the leaf axils, the stamens united into a purple tube.

Fruit - globular or oval green berry which becomes pale-coloured or yellowish, containing a hard 5-celled “stone”.

Flowering late spring – early summer.

Indigenous uses - the bark was used as a fish poison.


Found mainly on sand ridges and on sandplains in mulga communities; also recorded from gravelly red earths and sandy surfaced duplex soils in bimble box communities; occasionally on heavy clay soils.


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