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Melia azedarach; White Cedar   

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Melia azedarach
Melia azedarach
White Cedar
Photographer: Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy

ID: 0000 0000 1017 2448 (2017-10-30)

Copyright © 2017 Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy

  • date of photo  Apr 27, 2016
  • latitude 35.50991   longitude 23.60953     View on Google Maps.
  • location   Outskirts of village Kalivani near town Kisamos, northwest Crete (island Krete, Greece)
  • notes   Slo.: melija - syn.: Melia japonica G.Don. - Habitat: Semiruderal place, dirt road and yard side, almost flat terrain; skeletal ground, full sun, dry place; elevation 35 m (115 feet); average precipitations 900 - 1100 mm/year, average temperature about 18 deg C, Mediterranean phytogeographical region. Substratum: soil. Comment: Melia azedarach is a beautiful tree in the mahogany family (Meliaceae). It impresses not only with zillion pleasantly fragrant flowers but also because of picturesque clusters of yellowish fruits, which remain in place during the winter time and sometimes more than one year. Its native regions are Southeast Asia and Australia; however, today it is grown in almost the whole Mediterranean region, on same places it is already naturalized. Fruits are very hard, globose, marble-sized, stalked berries that can be dangerous on sidewalks. They also contain several poisons, which can harm humans. Poisoning may result in gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory and other problems and even death in extreme cases. Less than ten berries can kill a person. Birds, however, can tolerate them, so they eat the fruit and spread the seeds. Also bees are happy with abundant nectar when the tree is in bloom. Melia azedarach tree is locally important as firewood. Its wood is of high quality and comparable to teak (Tectona grandis). So, it is used in production of music instruments, toys, tools and in China in ship and boat construction. Fruits are used in production of soap, paints, candles, etc. Traditionally it is also a medical plant used against human bowel parasites. No wander, Melia azedarach is considered a holy tree in several Asian countries. Ref.: (1) M. Blamey, C. Grey-Wilson, Wild Flowers of the Mediterranean, A & C Black, London (2005), p 124. (2) R. Brus, Drevesa in grmi Jadrana (Trees and bushes of Aria) (in Slovenian), Mordian Pub. (2012), p 352.
  • camera   Nikon D700 / Nikkor Micro 105mm/f2.8
  • contributor's ID #  Bot_952/2016_IMG9998
  • photo category: Plant - tree

  • common names   White Cedar, Chinaberry, Bread Tree, Rosary Tree (photographer)
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    Using this photo   The thumbnail photo (128x192 pixels) on this page may be freely used for personal or academic purposes without prior permission under the Fair Use provisions of US copyright law as long as the photo is clearly credited with © 2017 Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy. For other uses, or if you have questions, contact Dr. Amadej Trnkoczy amadej.trnkoczy[AT] (Replace the [AT] with the @ symbol before sending an email.)


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