Etymology: it is also called "Lilac of India" because of its purple flowers. But the name "lilac of India" is also given to Crepe myrtle, Lagerstroemia indica. Origin: Tropical Asia, frequent in Southern Europe. Habitat: hot countries (seldom in the North of France). A nice plant is in the garden of Champs-Élysées, in Paris, one other smaller, in the small public garden of La Muette. Bark: brown, purple, deeply cracked vertically, showing the flaxen sap-wood.
Deciduous foliage: twice-pinnate leaves, pointed, slightly toothed leaflets (they resemble those of the varnish tree a bit). Flowers: violets, in bunch, odorous, in May. Fruits: brown berries, toxic for the man, but edible for birds.
Uses: the sap has antiseptic properties; the stones of the fruits serve for making rosaries.