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MELIA azedarach

Commonly known as Bead-tree, Pride of China, Pride of India

A rare but attractive tree more common in the Mediterranean, with fragrant lilac flowers. Bead-like fruits remain long after the leaves have fallen
Further Reading....

Small £14.50 each


  • Deciduous - pinnate or 2-pinnate mid to bright-green leaves 30-60cm (12-24in) long with many sharply-toothed leaflets.
  • Purple - Shades of purple/mauve/lilac/violet - lilac
  • Height - 10-15m (33-49ft)
  • Spread - 5-8m (16-26ft)
  • Tree - fast-growing, many-branched, spreading tree with fissured grey bark. Flowers are followed by spherical or ovoid yellow fruit 1cm (½in) long.
  • Half hardy - unheated greenhouse / mild winter - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK except in severe winters and a risk from sudden (early) frosts. May be hardy elsewhere with wall shelter or good micro-climate. Likely to be damaged or killed in cold winters. Plant can withstand temperatures down to -5°C (23°F)
  • Full sun
  • Caution, toxic if eaten - Do not eat these plants. - leaves and berries are poisonous.
  • Additional Features - Good to know - - seeds are used as beads in Asia. Plants in large containers may flower when 2-3m (6½-10ft) tall
  • Pests & Diseases - red spider mites if in greenhouse
  • Place of origin - northern India, China.
  • Flower Shape - Panicles - - arching to pendent panicles 10-20cm (4-8in) long
  • Star-shaped - 2cm (¾in) across
  • Garden Location/Conditions - Patio / pot plants -
  • Hardiness - Frost hardy (down to -5) -
  • Pruning group - Pruning group 1
    Suitable for: Deciduous and evergreen trees, and some deciduous shrubs.
    Pruning: Minimal pruning required. Prune wayward or crossing branches to maintain a healthy framework.
    When: When dormant in the late winter/early spring. Some in the summer/autumn to prevent bleeding of sap.

    RHS group 1
  • Scented Plants - Scented flowers -
  • Seasonal Interest - Spring -
  • Summer
  • Soil Conditions - Fertile moist well-drained soil - - shelter from cold winds
  • Tree Shape - Rounded to broadly spreading -
10-15m (33-49ft)
tree - guide for size not form Average Person
  5-8m (16-26ft)

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