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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 11 | Meliaceae | Melia

1. Melia azedarach Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 384. 1753.

楝 lian

Melia azedarach subvar. intermedia Makino; M. azedarach var. intermedia (Makino) Makino; M. azedarach var. subtripinnata Miquel; M. azedarach var. toosendan (Siebold & Zuccarini) Makino; M. japonica G. Don var. semperflorens Makino; M. toosendan Siebold & Zuccarini.

Trees to 10 m tall, deciduous. Bark brownish gray, longitudinally exfoliating. Branches spreading; branchlets with leaf scars. Leaves odd-pinnate, 2-pinnate or 3-pinnate, 20-40 cm; leaflets opposite; leaflet blades ovate, elliptic, or lanceolate, 3-7 × 2-3 cm but terminal one usually slightly larger, both surfaces with stellate trichomes when young but glabrescent, secondary veins 12-16 on each side of midvein, outspread and ascending, base ± oblique and cuneate to broadly cuneate, margin crenate or sometimes entire, apex shortly acuminate. Thyrses ± ca. 1/2 as long as leaves, glabrous or covered with short lepidote pubescence. Flowers fragrant. Calyx 5-parted; sepals ovate to oblong-ovate, outside puberulent, apex acute. Petals lilac-colored, obovate-spatulate, 0.9-1.3 cm, both surfaces puberulent but usually outside more densely so. Staminal tube purple, 7-8 mm, with longitudinal stripes, glabrous or subglabrous, apical margin with 10 narrow lobes; lobes conic, further 2- or 3-lobed; anthers 10, inserted on inner side of lobes and alternate to lobes, narrowly elliptic, apex slightly mucronulate. Ovary spherical, glabrous, 5-8-locular, with 2 ovules per locule; style acerose; stigma capitate, not included within filament tube, apex 5-dentate. Drupe globose to ellipsoid, 1-3 × 0.8-1.5 cm; endocarp ligneous. Seed ellipsoid. Fl. Mar-May, fr. Oct-Dec.

Mixed evergreen broad-leaved and deciduous forests, sparse forests, field margins, roadsides; 500-2100 m. Anhui, Fujian, S Gansu, Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, S Hebei, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, S Shaanxi, Shandong, S Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, SE Xizang, Zhejiang [Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Laos, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam; tropical Australia, Pacific islands (Solomon Islands)].

This species is cultivated and sometimes naturalized in many warm-temperate and tropical parts of the world. Because of its extensive cultivation and tendency to become naturalized in disturbed habitats, its original wild distribution is uncertain.

It is used medicinally, for industrial oil material, and for timber.


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