Chinaberry tree is a deciduous tree that is native to Japan, China, India and Taiwan. Its leaves can grow up to 50cm long, and they are alternate, long-petioled, odd-pinnate. Its leaflets are dark green on the upper surface and light green below. Its light purple flowers grow in clusters and are small and fragrant. Its light yellow fruit is a drupe, marble-sized when fully matured.
During the winter its flowers and fruits would wrinkle up and turn white; the locals usually associate this with misfortune, thus one would never plant this tree in their home gardens. Nevertheless, this tree is still valued as an ornamental tree and is commonly planted in parks and sidewalks. In 1830, Chinaberry tree was introduced into the US as an ornamental tree, but it was later regarded as an invasive species.
Chinaberry tree is known for its durability, and it’s a popular source of high quality timber. Its seeds, although slightly poisonous, can be used in herbal medicine. Its roots and tree bark is highly toxic and can be used to make pesticide.