This beautiful native of China is most often grown as a houseplant, but when planted outdoors in South Texas or central or southern Florida, it grows quickly into a small, graceful tree about 25 feet tall and 1012 feet wide. Prized for its handsome, glossy, rich green leaves, which are divided into many 2 inches leaflets. Hardy to about 20F. Airy, layered branches and symmetrical, upright form are reminiscent of chinaberry (Melia). Mature plants bloom in summer, bearing at their branch tips clusters of powerfully fragrant, 3 inches blossoms in pure white to sulphur-yellow. The flowers open at night and drop from the branches the next day. 'Crystal Doll' is a slower-growing selection with striking yellow-and-green variegated leaves.
Indoors, place in a very bright window (but be sure to protect from hottest afternoon sun). Insufficient light results in leggy growth. Provide evenly moist, well-drained soil; do not let soil dry out, or plant will drop leaves. Fertilize every other week in spring and summer and once a month in fall and winter with a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer. Spider mites and aphids are frequent pests; control them with insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Plants grown outdoors have fewer problems; they thrive in fertile, well-drained soil.