Aglaia edulis
Common Name: chu-lan tree 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Meliaceae
Native Range: Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam
Zone: 10 to 11
Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Orange-yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen
Fruit: Showy, Edible
Other: Winter Interest


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11 where it is easily grown in medium moisture, moderately fertile, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Plants often appreciate some part shade during the heat of the day in hot summer growing conditions. In the St. Louis area, grow in containers (clay pots best) which may be taken outside in late spring but should be brought indoors in late summer to early fall before temperatures dip to 40 degrees F. Indoor plants should be grown close to sunny windows and watered moderately but consistently, allowing the soils to dry between waterings but never to dry out completely. Avoid wet soils. Normal room temperature with 60 degree F. minimum winter temperature is recommended. Plants are dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants). Plants are usually propagated by cuttings or air layering because the flowers on female plants will not produce fruit/seed unless pollinated by flowers from a nearby male plant.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Aglaia edulis, commonly known as aglaia, is a small to medium sized evergreen tree in the mahagony family. It is native to evergreen broad-leaved forests, mostly on limestone hillsides and ridges, at elevations to 5,000’, but also along rocky sea shores in China, India, Bhutan, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. It typically grows to 20-30’ tall in cultivation, but may reach 70-90’ tall in the wild in its native habitat.

This tree is classified as “Near Threatened” by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in large part due to habitat loss.

Features odd-pinnate compound leaves (to 12” long). Each leaf contains 3-6 pair of lanceolate, entire, obtusely-acuminate, evergreen leaflets (each leaflet to 3-6” long by 1-2”wide). Numerous 5-petaled orange-yellow flowers bloom in axillary panicles (to 2-4” long) in June-July. Pollinated flowers on female trees give way to oval-rounded one-seeded fruits (fleshy succulent edible aril surrounds the seed). Fruits ripen in August-October.

Synonymous with and formerly known as Milnea edulis.

Genus name comes from Aglaia of Greek mythology who was one of the three Graces (minor goddesses of grace, charm and beauty who were daughters of Zeus) in reference to the sweetly-scented flowers on this tree.

Specific epithet from Latin means edible in reference to the fruit (aril surrounding the seed).


No serious insect or disease problems. Watch for mealybugs.


Sometimes gathered from the wild for its edible fruit, for its timber (carts, boats, furniture, construction) and for certain medicinal uses.