Friday, April 17, 2015

Wanted! Reports of Chinaberry!

It certainly is a great time of year to find invasives!  Chinaberry (Melia azedarach) is in full bloom and so it's a good time to map it.  As warm weather moves up the country, mappers in the more northern states keep a look out in the coming weeks for these distinctive trees and flowers.

chinaberry (Melia azedarach) by Forest and Kim Starr, Starr Environmental,
Chinaberry is a tree that is commonly found along road and forest edges and in disturbed areas.  Here in the south I have noticed it most at the edges of agricultural fields.

chinaberry (Melia azedarach) by Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia,
The leaves are alternate and twice- to three-times compound with serrated leaflet edges.   In the fall, the leaves will turn golden-yellow.

chinaberry (Melia azedarach) by Emily Earp,,
The flowers are blooming now and are showy, lavender, and have five petals.  These will turn into fruit which are the size of marbles and are on long stalks.  These will be seen best after the leaves fall in late autumn to early winter and are readily spread by birds.

EDDMapS is always looking to fill in the gaps on the distribution maps.  So if you see a blank county where you know chinaberry can be found, run out and map it using one of the BugwoodApps! The SEEDN app is an app for reporting invasive species occurrences for the southeastern U.S. and is available on iOS (Apple products) and Android devices. If you don't have a smartphone, tablet, or other such device, you can report findings through EDDMapS. Remember to take a picture of the plants you find with your report! Once your reports are verified, it will color in the map where data is currently missing. Happy scouting!

To view distribution maps of chinaberry: Chinaberry distribution
For identification information and other resources on chinaberry: Chinaberry information
To view images of chinaberry: Chinaberry images