Virginia Tech Dendrology

Chinaberry Meliaceae Melia azedarach L. Listen to the Latin symbol: MEAZ
Leaf: Alternate, single to doubly compound, 10 to 22 inches long, leaflets coarsely toothed or lobed, 1 to 2 inches long, shiny green above and smooth on both surfaces.
Flower: Purple, in a loose long cluster, each flower 1/2 to 1 inch across, appearing after the leaves.
Fruit: Yellow-brown drupe, up to 3/4 inch in diameter in hanging clusters, ripen in the fall and persist all winter.
Twig: Very stout, olive-brown to brown with numerous lighter lenticels, three lobed large leaf scar, pith continuous and white, buds are small, round and fuzzy light brown (nearly white).
Bark: Brown to slightly reddish brown, splitting into slightly criss-crossing furrows.
Form: Small tree, 20 to 40 feet tall with a spreading crown.
Looks like: goldenraintree - soapberry - tree-of-Heaven
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Melia azedarach is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and may seed into the landscape. See states reporting Chinaberry.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson