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White Cedar, Persian Lilac

White Cedar, Persian Lilac
Photo: Colin Wilson
Invasive Plant
White Cedar, Persian Lilac
Melia azedarach

A fast-growing tree that may reach a height of 9–10 m and spreading to a width of 8 m, it has pointed mid-green leaves and fragrant, lilac flowers in loose clusters in summer. These are followed by yellow, beadlike fruits that are poisonous to animals and young children, but not to birds, which feast on them. Although it has naturalised in many Asian countries, it has not done so in Australia and is still widely available from nurseries and garden centres. It has been promoted as a street tree in Darwin.



  • Seeds are disseminated by birds but there is no evidence it has become a pest in this country as yet.
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Alternative Plants

Burdekin Plum
Alternative Plant Burdekin Plum
Pleiogynium timorense (Syn. Pleiogynium solanderi)
Trees and Shrubs

Large and shapely tree to 20 m or more under good conditions, or a stunted shrub under harsh conditions. This close relative of the Mango is a native tropical rainforest tree. The deep purple fleshy plum-like fruits need to be held for some days to soften and mellow. The fruit can be eaten raw, or used in wines, jams and jellies. The burdekin plum is exceptionally hardy and can cope with long dry periods once established. It does however prefer free draining soil and lots of sunshine to perform well. The Burdekin Plum has a dark grey trunk and glossy, compound leaves.

Desert Bloodwood
Photo: Gary Dinham
Alternative Plant Desert Bloodwood
Corymbia opaca (Syn. Eucalyptus opaca)
Trees and Shrubs

Slow to medium growing small tree to about 6 m that is endemic to the Alice Springs area. It is quite hardy, tolerating frost and drought conditions well. It bears clusters of pale yellow flowers in the cooler months. It does quite well in gardens and will attract native birds.

Nettle Tree
Photo: Fleming's Nursery
Alternative Plant Nettle Tree
Celtis australis
Trees and Shrubs

Contrary to what its scientific name may imply, this tree is not native to Australia but rather to southern Europe. It is a deciduous tree with a smooth, grey trunk. Its leaves are toothed and hairy beneath, unlike those of the common nettle after which it is named. Its flowers are inconspicuous however are followed by bright orange to dark brown berries in summer, which are very attractive to birds. A good shade tree in summer and quite hardy.

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