Trees or shrubs with exstipulate, often pinnate leaves. Fls. 3 - 5-merous, stamens 6 - 10, coherent into a long tube with sessile anthers. Disk hypogynous, sometimes cup-like; style 1. Ovary compound, several-celled, cells 1 - 2, 4-ovuled. Fruit fleshy or dry, often 1-celled by abortion. Seeds neither winged nor axillate.
Genera 33, species 150, natives of the hotter parts of the globe.
MELIA, L. Pride of India. (Gr. , honey; the name was first applied to the Manna Ash.) Sepals small, 5, united; petals spreading; stamen tube 10-cleft at summit with 10 anthers in the throat; ovary 5-celled, 10-ovuled; style deciduous; drupe with a 5-celled, bony nut, cells 1-seeded. - Trees with bipinnate lvs. and panicles of delicate flowers.
M. Azedarach L. Lvs. deciduous, glabrous, lfts. obliquely lance-ovate, acuminate, serrate. - Southern States, common. A large tree 30 - 40f high, with light foliage and a profusion of lilac-colored fls. Drupes as large as cherries, with a poisonous pulp, hanging in clusters through the winter. The bark is esteemed as a vermifuge, but narcotic. Dwarfed specimens are frequent in green houses at the North.