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Melia - Chinaberry

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Persian Lilac is known as Melia azedarach, a small shrub for dry climates, resilient and easy to grow in regions that are not too cold in winter. The Melia genus, from the Meliaceae family, only has this one species, which is found from Iraq to Japan, from southern China to Australia, in eastern Africa, as well as in the Mediterranean basin.

The bush is nicknamed the bead tree due to the traditional use of its naturally perforated stones. It is also called the Ceylon mahogany, as it is a close relative to other mahoganies (Khaya, Swietenia, Dysoxylum), which are tropical and highly valued in cabinetmaking. The wild form is already ornamental with its mauve flowers with a lilac fragrance and its honey-coloured ball-shaped fruits. The search for even more decorative cultivars is just beginning, but it is promising, as demonstrated by the delicate variegated form Jade Snowflake.

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