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Taxon: Melia azedarach L.

Genus: Melia
Family: Meliaceae
Nomen number: 23936
Place of publication: Sp. pl. 1:384. 1753
Typification: View record from Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project of the Natural History Museum of London.
Name verified on: 12-Jan-1995 by ARS Systematic Botanists. Last updated: 03-Feb-2009
Species priority site is: Natl. Germplasm Repository - Miami (MIA).
Accessions: 1 in National Plant Germplasm System.
  • all available ) NPGS accessions. or .
  • all available ) NPGS accessions by country.
  • Check PlantSearch database of Botanic Gardens Conservation International for possible non-NPGS germplasm.

Common names:

  • Cape-lilac   (Source: Aust Pl Common Names ) – English
  • chinaberry   (Source: World Econ Pl ) – English
  • chinaberry-tree   (Source: Aust Pl Common Names ) – English
  • Persian-lilac   (Source: Weeds SAfr 2001 ) – English
  • Sichuan pagoda-tree   (Source: Herbs Commerce ed2 [as M. toosendan]) – English
  • syringa berrytree   (Source: Kellerman et al.1988) – English
  • Texas umbrella-tree   (Source: Aust Pl Common Names ) – English
  • tulip-cedar   (Source: Aust Pl Common Names ) – English
  • umbrella-cedar   (Source: Aust Pl Common Names ) – English
  • umbrella-tree   (Source: F Guat ) – English
  • white-cedar   (Source: Aust Pl Common Names ) – English
  • bessieboom syringa   (Source: Weeds SAfr 2001 ) – Afrikaans
  • maksering   (Source: Weeds SAfr 2001 ) – Afrikaans
  • chuan liang zi   (Source: Herbs Commerce ed2 [as M. toosendan]) – Transcribed Chinese
  • lian   (Source: F ChinaEng ) – Transcribed Chinese
  • arbre à chapelets   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • lilas des Indes   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – French
  • indischer Zedrachbaum   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – German
  • persischer Flieder   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – German
  • sendan   (Source: F JapanOhwi ) – Japanese Rōmaji
  • meolguseulnamu   (Source: F Korea ) – Transcribed Korean
  • amargoseira-do-Himalaio   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Portuguese
  • cinamomo   (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • sabonete-de-soldado   (Source: D. Groth, p.c. 2005) – Portuguese (Brazil)
  • melia   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • paraíso   (Source: Dict Rehm ) – Spanish
  • zedrak   (Source: Vara kulturvaxt namn ) – Swedish

Economic importance:


Distributional range:

    China: China - Anhui [tropical], Fujian, Gansu [s.], Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, Hebei [s.], Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi [s.], Shandong, Shanxi [s.], Sichuan, Xizang [s.e.], Yunnan, Zhejiang
    Indian Subcontinent: Bhutan; India; Nepal; Sri Lanka
    Indo-China: Laos; Thailand; Vietnam
    Malesia: Indonesia - Irian Jaya, Lesser Sunda Islands; Papua New Guinea; Philippines
    Australia: Australia - New South Wales [e.], Northern Territory [n.], Queensland, Western Australia [n.]
    Southwestern Pacific: Solomon Islands

      Naturalized: (links to other web resources are provided for some distributions)
    Macaronesia: Spain - Canary Islands
    Western Asia: Cyprus
    Eastern Asia: Japan - Kyushu, Ryukyu Islands, Shikoku
    Australia: Australia
    Southeastern Europe: Croatia; Italy [incl. Sicily]
    Southwestern Europe: France
    United States
    North-Central Pacific: United States - Hawaii
    Northwestern Pacific: Northern Mariana Islands; Palau
    South-Central Pacific: Cook Islands; French Polynesia; Pitcairn
    Southwestern Pacific: Fiji; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Solomon Islands; Tonga
    Caribbean: West Indies
    Mesoamerica: Guatemala; Nicaragua
    Northern South America: French Guiana; Guyana; Suriname; Venezuela
    Brazil: Brazil
    Western South America: Ecuador - Galapagos Islands; Peru
    Southern South America: Argentina; Chile; Paraguay; Uruguay

  • also cultivated


  • Acevedo-Rodríguez, P. & M. T. Strong. 2012. Catalogue of seed plants of the West Indies. Smithsonian Contr. Bot. 98.
  • Aldén, B., S. Ryman & M. Hjertson. 2009. Våra kulturväxters namn - ursprung och användning. Formas, Stockholm (Handbook on Swedish cultivated and utility plants, their names and origin).
  • Balick, M. J. et al. 2000. Checklist of the vascular plants of Belize, with common names and uses. Mem. New York Bot. Gard. 85.
  • Boutelje, J. B. 1980. Encyclopedia of world timbers, names and technical literature.
  • Brako, L. & J. L. Zarucchi. 1993. Catalogue of the flowering plants and gymnosperms of Peru. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 45.
  • Chen Fenghwai & Wu Telin. 1991–. Flora of Guangdong. [= M. toosendan].
  • Duke, J. A. et al. 2002. CRC Handbook of medicinal herbs.
  • Erhardt, W. et al. 2008. Der große Zander: Enzyklopädie der Pflanzennamen.
  • Euro+Med Editorial Committee. Euro+Med Plantbase: the information resource for Euro-Mediterranean plant diversity (on-line resource).
  • Faridah Hanum, I. & L. J. G. van der Maesen, eds. 1997. Auxiliary plants. In: Faridah Hanum, I. & L. J. G. van der Maesen, eds., Plant Resources of South-East Asia (PROSEA). 11:187–190.
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2010. Ecocrop (on-line resource).
  • Forzza, R. C. et al., coord. Lista de espécies da flora do Brasil (on-line resource).
  • Funk, V. et al. 2007. Checklist of the plants of the Guiana Shield (Venezuela: Amazonas, Bolivar, Delta Amacuro; Guyana, Surinam, French Guiana). Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 55:1-584.
  • Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. [re. Brazilian common names].
  • Henderson, L. 2001. Alien weeds and invasive plants: a complete guide to declared weeds and invaders in South Africa. Plant Protection Research Institute, Handbook 12.
  • Hnatiuk, R. J. 1990. Census of Australian vascular plants. Australian Flora and Fauna Series No. 11.
  • Hokche, O. et al. 2008. Nuevo catálogo de la flora vascular de Venezola.
  • Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry. Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER): plant threats to Pacific ecosystems (on-line resource).
  • Instituto de Botánica Darwinion. 2008. Flora del Conosur. Catálogo de las plantas vasculares.
  • Integrated Botanical Information System (IBIS). Australian plant common name database (on-line resource).
  • Iwatsuki, K. et al. 1993–. Flora of Japan.
  • Jiangsu Institute of Botany. 1982. Flora of Jiangsu. [= M. toosendan].
  • Jørgensen, P. M. & S. León-Yánez, eds. 1999. Catalogue of the vascular plants of Ecuador. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 75.
  • Kellerman, T. S. et al. 1988. Plant poisonings and mycotoxicoses of livestock in Southern Africa.
  • Kingsbury, J. M. 1964. Poisonous plants of the United States and Canada. [poisonous].
  • Lampe, K. F. & M. A. McCann. 1985. AMA handbook of poisonous and injurious plants. [poisonous].
  • Lee, Y. N. 1997. Flora of Korea.
  • McGuffin, M., J. T. Kartesz, A. Y. Leung, & A. O. Tucker. 2000. Herbs of commerce, ed. 2.
  • Mun-Chan, B. et al. 1986. A checklist of the Korean cultivated plants. Kulturpflanze 34:110.
  • Ohwi, J. 1965. Flora of Japan (Engl. ed.).
  • Pennington, T. D. 1981. Meliaceae. Fl. Neotrop. Monogr. 28:24.
  • Rehm, S. 1994. Multilingual dictionary of agronomic plants.
  • Smith, R. J. Botanical beads of the world (on-line resource).
  • Standley, P. C. & J. A. Steyermark. 1946–1976. Flora of Guatemala.
  • Steenis, C. G. G. J. van, ed. 1948–. Flora malesiana.
  • Stevens, W. D. et al., eds. 2001. Flora de Nicaragua. Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 85(1-3).
  • Weber, E. 2003. Invasive plant species of the world: a reference guide to environmental weeds.
  • Wu Zheng-yi & P. H. Raven et al., eds. 1994–. Flora of China (English edition).


Check other web resources for Melia azedarach L.:


  • Check for additional images
  • Google Images Images Note: Be advised that their identity may be inaccurate. Proper identification of a plant may require specialized taxonomic knowledge or comparison with properly documented herbarium material.

Abbreviations & symbols in GRIN Taxonomy

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Cite as:
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program.
Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database].
National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland.
URL: (25 November 2015)

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