Chinaberry Tree

Chinaberry tree
Cheryl McCormick, University of Florida,
Big red button that reads Invasive, No Uses

A round, deciduous shade tree with fragrant lilac flowers, Chinaberry trees are common throughout Florida.

Native to India, China, and the Himalayas, Chinaberry was brought to the United States as an ornamental. This species can reach up to 40 feet in height, and grow rapidly when young. Its aggressive growth rate and lack of natural enemies has caused it to crowd out native plants. The UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas has identified this plant as invasive in North and Central Florida and is not recommended. It has been identified as a “caution” species for South Florida, meaning that existing Chinaberry trees in the landscape should be managed in order to prevent escape.

In addition, the fruits and seeds are poisonous to humans (not to mention messy). If you’re looking for an ornamental tree, consider a redbud or crapemyrtle in North Florida, or a trumpet tree in South Florida.

More from UF/IFAS