A Flora and Fauna of Symi

A personal guide to the wildlife of Symi and beyond

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Persian Lilac tree

This Persian or Indian lilac, is a species of deciduous tree in the mahogany family, Meliaceae, that is native to Indomalaya and Australasia. Often planted in gardens and by the roadside on Symi it is in full flower and unmistakable with yellow seeds. The hard, five-grooved seeds were widely used for making rosaries and other products requiring beads. Fruits are poisonous to humans if eaten in quantity. However, like those of the yew tree, these toxins are not harmful to birds, who gorge themselves on the fruit, eventually reaching a "drunken" state. The birds that are able to eat the fruit spread the seeds in their droppings. 

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