Champaca (Magnolia champaca)


Magnolia champaca (L.) Baill. ex Pierre 1880 is a small tropical tree with highly fragrant flowers belonging to the Magnolia family (Magnoliaceae).

The Champaca tree, also called Yellow Jade Orchid Tree, Fragrant Himalayan Champaca or Joy Perfume Tree reaches heights up to about 6 meters and is native to South- and South-East Asia. Magnolia champaca has been primarly described by the father of modern taxonomy Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778) as Michelia champaca L. 1753, which is the basionym and the only accepted synonym for the tropical tree. The heavenly scented flowers are used to produce the worlds most expensive perfum Joy. A single flower is enough to fill a car or a small room with its tantalising scent and You can smell a blooming tree from hundred meters away. The flowers vary in color from white (Magnolia champaca var. alba) to yellow and orange-yellow, but Joy Perfume Trees are primarly cultivated for its timber. The leaves are used in Ayurvedic medicine to eradicate intestinal worms, to aid digestion and cure fever. Flowers are used as an aphrosidiac and to relieve burns and skin diseases. The tropical, all year round blooming tree requires a warm to hot climate and is best cultivated in full sun. Seeds are highly attractive to birds, while insects, hummingbirds and butterflies are crazy for the nectar of the flowers.

© Orchids
Image: Magnolia champaca flower

© Orchids
Image: fully open Champaca flower

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