Forest EcologyGeneral SilviculturePlant Taxonomy

Melia azedarach Linn.

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Melia azedarach Linn. Family

Persian Lilac

Melia azedarach Linn. English Name


Melia azedarach Linn. Local Name


Melia azedarach Linn.

Melia azedarach Linn. Description

A medium to small sized, deciduous tree, 6 to 12 m tall and with diameters of 0.57 to 0.70 m. The crown is spreading and rounded. The leaves are compound up to 60 cm long. The bark is dark grey with longitudinal ridges. The flowers are small, lilac colored and fragrant. The flowers occur in dense, hanging bunches appearing between March and May. The fruit is a drupe containing 4 to 5 seeds. The fruiting period is June to January. It coppices easily and is relatively insect and disease free. It is reproduced both from seed and by vegetative means approximately 70 % of the seed will be viable. The seed can be stored for approximately a year without loss of viability. Growth rates are high. Yields of 17.5 m3/ha/yr have been recorded. Grains are straight, uneven textured. Sapwood is yellowish white, heartwood is reddish brown, with moderately hard strength having specific gravity of 0.56 and a calorific value of 5100 kcal/k.

Melia azedarach Linn.

Melia azedarach Linn. Distribution

The tree is native to the lower Himalayas including, Pakistan and Nepal. In Pakistan it is extensively planted in the plains of the Punjab and NWFP. It has been successfully planted in many other parts of the world. An intolerant tree that grows on a variety of well drained soils in valleys and ravines. It requires a precipitation zone of 600 to 1000 mm/yr or more. It prefers a tropical to sub-tropical temperate climate with a temperature range of -5 to 40°C within an elevation range of 900 to 1700 m. It is not frost hardy as a seedling, but older trees are drought resistant and frost hardy.

Melia azedarach Linn.

Melia azedarach Linn. Uses

This is a good tree for reforestation project because of its fast growth. It is also used for roadside plantings and in irrigated plantations. It is a good farm forestry tree. Also used in furniture, fodder, ornamental, timber, construction, agriculture implements, boxes and packing crates, sports equipment, veneer and plywood, and medicinal (flowers and leaves as poultice for headache juice of leaves as an anthelmintic and diuretic).

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