Alien Invasives

Syringa (Melia azedarach)


03 October 2016

Syringa (Melia azedarach)

The Seringa tree is a very well-known, large (25m), deciduous tree with smooth reddish-brown bark that becomes smothered in highly scented purple-mauve flowers in spring. The flowers are followed by clusters of green berries that turn yellow and wrinkle as they ripen.
The leaves, bark, flowers and ripe fruits are poisonous to most animals, however some birds eat the fruit.

Other names
Persian Lilac, Cape Lilac, China Berry, China Tree, White Cedar, Bead Tree (English)
Maksering, Sering, Bessieboom (Afrikaans)
umsilinga (isiZulu)
Invasive status
NEMBA Category 1b (Category 3 in urban areas)
CARA 2002 Category 3

Originally from
South America
Where is it a problem?
Throughout South Africa
How does it spread?
Fruits are spread by birds, other animals, water and human activities
Why is it a problem?
Dense copses can form quickly along watercourses and often affect water flow. Effective seed dispersal by water enables this species to invade protected areas far from the parent plant.
Planting alternatives
Mountain Seringa (Kirkia wilmsii), White Seringa (Kirkia acuminata), Cape Chestnut (Calodendrum capense), Pompom Tree (Dais cotinifolia), Lowveld Chestnut (Sterculia murex), Lavender Tree (Heteropyxis natalensis)
Ornamental tree in gardens

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