Melia azedarach  L. Chinaberry ;  Persian lilac  - Meliaceae

Because the chinaberry, Melia azedarach , has many uses, rural people in India believe it to be the abode of several gods and goddesses.  The presiding deity of this tree is Shitala, the goddess of smallpox.12  In India garlands of chinaberry seeds draped on doorways are believed to prevent infectious diseases.

The chinaberry , also called Persian lilac , is a moderate-sized deciduous tree native to the Himalayan Mountains and eastern Asia and now naturalized throughout the warm countries of the world.  Fruits contain one melon-shaped seed, which is ridged, whitish in color and easily pierced for stringing.

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