Melia orientalis M. Roem.
Tree, up to 12 m tall; young shoots tomentose. Leaves 2-(3)-pinnate, up to 60 cm long; leaflets opposite, elliptic, 2.5-5 cm long, 5-19 mm broad, serrate to sub-serrate, acuminate, often oblique, sub-sessile. Flowers lilac, sweet-scented, in axillary panicles; pedicel 2-3 mm long, puberulous. Calyx 5-6-lobed; lobes c. 2 mm long, acute, pubescent. Petals 7-9 mm long, spathulate to lanceolate, ciliate, imbricate in bud. Staminal tube 6-7 mm long, cylindrical, expanded at the base and apex, 10-striate, with 20 teeth at the apex; anthers sessile, 1 bet¬ween each pair of teeth. Disc glabrous, fused with the ovary base. Ovary usually 5-locular; style 4-5 mm long; stigma capitate. Drupe 1.5-2 cm long, globose, 3-6-seeded, yellow when ripe.
Fl. Per. March-April.
Type: Herb. Hermann, Vol. 1: fol. 10. (BM).
Distribution: Wild in W. Himalaya, up to 1700m. Cultivated and naturaliz¬ed in parts of Iran, China, Burma, Turkey, India & W. Pakistan.
“Persian Lilac” is a fast growing tree of the plains and foot-hills, cultivated along road-sides and in villages. The fruit is eaten by goats and sheep, and the stony endocarps are used as beads.