For what are China Grove, North Carolina and China Spring in Texas named?
The chinaberry tree is of the mahogany family native to the Indian subcontinent; southeast Asia; Australia; New Zealand; and the Melanesian Pacific islands, notably Papua New Guinea. The chinaberry tree is deciduous, primarily shedding 'drupes', another word for 'stone fruit'. Peaches, cherries, walnuts, almonds and olives are just a few examples of stone fruit, though the chinaberry drupe is inedible. In some locations, crushed fallen drupes often render pavement slippery.
The chinaberry tree was introduced to Georgia and South Carolina as an ornamental around 1830. China Spring, Texas is a census-designated place northwest of Waco in northern Central Texas. It was first settled in 1860 but the community was founded in 1867, named for a spring in a chinaberry grove. Today the venerable rocker Ted Nugent owns a ranch nearby.
China Grove, North Carolina (uploaded photo), was first believed to be settled as early as 1710. It eventually got its name in 1849 for a grove of chinaberry trees near its old train depot, demolished in 1974. Most and maybe all of the chinaberry trees are gone as well. However, a chinaberry branch has always been on the China Grove town seal. China Grove is in southern Rowan County, not too far from Charlotte, where increased industry and jobs is causing 'population spillover' into Rowan County.