Scientific Name:
Melia azedarach
Toxic Parts:
Flower Color:
roadsides, hedges, woodlands, wasteareas

Geographical Distribution

Chinaberry distribution - United States


Melia azedarach

Bead tree, Paradise tree, Persian lilac, Pride-of-india,Texas Umbrella tree, White Cedar
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Chinaberry (Melia azedarach) is a small to medium-sized, round-headed deciduous tree. M. azedarach is native to southeast Asia and northern Australia. It was introduced into the United States in the mid-1800s for ornamental purposes and is now found throughout the southeast and hawaii. Chinaberry invades disturbed areas and is commonly found along roads and forest edges. It has the potential to grow in dense thickets, restricting the growth of native vegetation.

Foliage is the best identifying feature for this species. Flowering occurs in the spring, between march and may. Showy, lavender, five-petaled flowers develop in panicles. M. azedarach fruit are hard, yellow, marble-sized, stalked berries. Seeds are spread by birds. It's leaves turn golden-yellow to bright red in the fall. Most cases of M. azedarach poisonings occur in the fall or winter when the berries ripen.

Toxic components
All parts contain toxic tetranortriterpene neurotoxins and unidentified resins. The berries are the most toxic. Toxicity occurs when chickens consume more than 0.5% of their body weight.


  • diarrhea
  • incoordination
  • depression
  • weakness
  • seizures
  • paralysis
  • death


For control of full grown trees: Anytime other than the spring months, using dilutions and cut-spacings specified on the herbicide label make stem injections using Arsenal AC* or Pathway*, or when safety to surrounding vegetation is desired, Garlon 3A.

For control of saplings: Apply a basal spray of Garlon 4 as a 10- to 20-percent solution (2 to 5 pints per 3-gallon mix) or Stalker* as a 3-percent solution (12 ounces per 3-gallon mix) plus Garlon 4 as a 15-percent solution (3.5 pints per 3-gallon mix) mixed in a labeled basal oil product, vegetable oil or mineral oil with a penetrant, or fuel oil or diesel fuel (where permitted)