|Michelia × alba|
about 50; see text
Michelia is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Magnolia family (Magnoliaceae). The genus includes about 50 species of evergreen trees and shrubs, native to tropical and subtropical south and southeast Asia (Indomalaya), including southern China.
The Magnoliaceae are an ancient family; fossil plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae back date back 95 million years. A primitive aspect of the Magnolia family is that their large, cup-shaped flowers lack distinct petals or sepals. The large non-specialized flower parts, resembling petals, are called tepals.
The leaves, flowers, and form of Michelia resemble Magnolia, but the blossoms of Michelia generally form clusters among the leaves, rather than singly at the branch ends as Magnolia does.
Several of the larger species are locally important sources of timber. Some species, including the Champak (Michelia champaca) and M. doltsopa are grown for their flowers, both on the tree and as cut flowers. Champak flowers are also used to produce an essential oil for perfume. A few species have been introduced to gardens or as street trees outside of the Indomalaya region, including Michelia figo, M. doltsopa, and M. champaca. The genus is named after the Florentine botanist Pietro Antonio Micheli (1679–1737).
Recent changes in classification
Morphological data and molecular data recently showed that the genus Michelia is very closely related to subgenus Yulania of genus Magnolia. Many botanists now treat the genus Michelia accordingly. New combinations of names have been provided for. For further information see under genus Magnolia.
- Michelia aenea Dandy. Native to China and Vietnam. (treated as a synonym for M. foveolata Merr. ex Dandy by J. Li (1997).
- Michelia × alba DC. (syn. M. longifolia Blume). White Champaca or White Sandalwood, a hybrid between M. champaca L. and M. montana Blume
- Michelia angustioblonga Y.-W. Law & Y.-F. Wu
- Michelia balansae (A. DC.) Dandy (basionym: Magnolia balansae A. DC.)
- Michelia baillonii (Pierre) Finet & Gagnep. (basionym: Magnolia baillonii Pierre)
- Michelia braianensis Gagnep.
- Michelia calcicola C.Y. Wu ex Y.-W. Law & Y.-F. Wu (treated as a synonym for M. ingrata Chen & Yang by Chen & Nooteboom (1993))))
- Michelia caloptila Y.-W. Law & Y.-F. Wu (dubious taxon, according to Chen & Nooteboom (1993))
- Michelia cavaleriei Finet & Gagnep.
- Michelia champaca L. Champak. Native to India, Java, and the Philippines. A tree or shrub which grows from 3 to 6 meters high and wide. Glossy bright green leaves to 16 cm. Produces fragrant orange, yellow, or creamy white flowers in the spring. The flowers of this plant produce an essential oil that is used in perfume.
- Michelia chapensis Dandy
- Michelia compressa (Maxim.) Sarg. (basionym: Magnolia compressa Maxim.)
- Michelia coriacea Chang & Chen
- Michelia crassipes Y.-W. Law
- Michelia doltsopa Buch.-Ham. ex DC. Large shrubs and trees, growing to 30 meters. Native to the eastern Himalayas and Meghalaya subtropical forests. Varies in form from bushy to narrow and upright. Leathery dark-green leaves, 6 to 17 cm in length. Clusters of creamy white flowers in winter. Growing in popularity as a street tree in coastal California.
- Michelia elegans Y.-W. Law & Y.-F. Wu (treated as a synonym for M. cavaleriei Finet & Gagnep. by Chen & Nooteboom (1993))
- Michelia elliptilimba Chen & Noot. (treated as a synonym for M. sphaerantha C.Y. Wu ex Z.S. Yue by J. Li (1997)))
- Michelia figo (Lour.) Spreng. (basionym: Liriodendron figo Lour.) Banana Shrub. A slow growing shrub or small tree that can grow up to 5 meters high and nearly as wide. Densely covered with small glossy green leaves. Bears clusters of large, white, sometimes purple-streaked, flowers with a potent, sweet banana scent. Port Wine is a variety that bears rose to maroon flowers.
- Michelia flaviflora Y.-W. Law & Y.-F. Wu
- Michelia floribunda Finet & Gagnep.
- Michelia foveolata Merr. ex Dandy
- Michelia fujianensis Q.F. Zheng
- Michelia fulgens Dandy (treated as a synonym for M. foveolata Merr. ex Dandy by Gagnepain (1939))))
- Michelia fulva Chang & Chen
- Michelia fuscata (Andrews) Blume ex Wall. (basionym: Magnolia fuscata Andrews; treated as a synonym for M. figo (Lour.) Spreng. by Baillon (1866))
- Michelia guangxiensis Y.-W. Law & R.-Z. Zhou
- Michelia hedyosperma Y.-W. Law (treated as a synonym for M. hypolampra Dandy by Chen & Nooteboom (1993))
- Michelia hypolampra Dandy
- Michelia ingrata Chen & Yang
- Michelia iteophylla C.Y. Wu ex Y.-W. Law & Y.-F. Wu (synonym for Michelia formosana (Kaneh.) Masam. & Suzuki because the type is the same; M. formosana in its turn is treated as a synonym for M. compressa (Maxim.) Sarg. by Chen & Nooteboom (1993))
- Michelia kisopa Buch.-Ham. ex DC. Native to Meghalaya subtropical forests
- Michelia koordersiana Noot.
- Michelia lacei W.W. Sm.
- Michelia laevifolia Y.-W. Law & Y.-F. Wu (treated as a synonym for M. yunnanensis Franch. ex Finet & Gapnep. by Xia & Deng (2002))
- Michelia lanuginosa Wall. Native to Meghalaya subtropical forests
- Michelia leveilleana Dandy
- Michelia longipetiolata C.Y. Wu ex Y.-W. Law & Y.-F. Wu (treated as a synonym for M. leveilleana Dandy by Chen & Nooteboom (1993))
- Michelia longistamina Y.-W. Law (treated as a synonym for M. martinii (H. Lév.) Finet & Gagnep. ex H. Lév. by Chen & Nooteboom (1993))
- Michelia longistyla Y.-W. Law & Y.-F. Wu (treated as a synonym for M. foveolata Merr. ex Dandy; by Chen & Nooteboom (1993))
- Michelia macclurei Dandy
- Michelia martinii (H. Lév.) Finet & Gagnep. ex H. Lév. (basionym: Magnolia martinii H. Lév.)
- Michelia masticata Dandy
- Michelia maudiae Dunn
- Michelia mediocris Dandy
- Michelia microtricha (treated as a synonym for M. floribunda Finet & Gagnep. by J. Li (1997))
- Michelia montana Blume
- Michelia nilagirica Zenker. Native to southern India.
- Michelia odora (W.Y. Chun) Noot. & Chen (basionym: Tsoongiodendron odorum W.Y. Chun)
- Michelia pachycarpa Y.-W. Law & R.-Z. Zhou
- Michelia platypetala Hand.-Mazz. (treated as a variety of Magnolia maudiae (Dunn) Figlar (= Michelia maudiae Dunn) by Sima (2001))
- Michelia polyneura C.Y. Wu ex Y.-W. Law & Y.-F. Wu
- Michelia punduana Hook.f. & Thomson. Native to Meghalaya subtropical forests
- Michelia rajaniana Craib
- Michelia salicifolia A. Agostini
- Michelia scortechinii (King) Dandy (basionym: Manglietia scortechinii King)
- Michelia wilsonii Finet & Gagnep. (syn. M. sinensis Hemsl. & E.H. Wilson; based on the same type but published a few weeks later)
- Michelia shiluensis W.Y. Chun & Y.-F. Wu
- Michelia skinneriana Dunn (treated as a synonym for M. figo (Lour.) Spreng. by Chen & Nooteboom (1993))
- Michelia sphaerantha C.Y. Wu ex Z.S. Yue
- Michelia subulifera Dandy
- Michelia szechuanica Dandy (treated as a subspecies of Magnolia ernestii Figlar (= Michelia wilsonii Finet & Gagnep.) by Sima & Figlar (2001))
- Michelia xanthantha C.Y. Wu ex Y.-W. Law & Y.-F. Wu
- Michelia yunnanensis Franch. ex Finet & Gapnep.
- Figlar, R.B. (2000), Proleptic branch initiation in Michelia and Magnolia subgenus Yulania provides basis for combinations in subfamily Magnolioideae. In: Liu Yu-hu et al., Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Family Magnoliaceae: 14-25, Science Press, Beijing
- Azuma, H., L.B. Thien & S. Kawano (1999), Molecular phylogeny of Magnolia (Magnoliaceae) inferred from cpDNA sequences and evolutionary divergence of the floral scents. Journal of Plant Research 112(1107): 291-306
- Kim, S. et al. (2001), Phylogenetic relationships in family Magnoliaceae inferred from ndhF sequences. American Journal of Botany. 88(4): 717-728
- Li, J. (1997). "Some notes on Magnoliaceae from China". Acta Botanica Yunnanica (Kunming) 19 (2): 131–138.
- Chen, B.L. & H.P. Nooteboom (1993). "Notes on Magnoliaceae III, The Magnoliaceae of China". Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden (Missouri Botanical Garden Press) 80 (4): 999–1104. doi:10.2307/2399942. JSTOR 2399942.
- Gagnepain, F. (1939). "Magnoliacées nouvelles ou litigieuses". Notulae Systematicae, Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle (Paris) 8 (1): 63–65.
- Baillon, H.E. (1866). "Mémoire sur la famille des Magnoliacées". Adansonia; recueil periodique d'observations botaniques (Paris) 7: 1–16, 65–69.
- Xia, N.H. & Y.F. Deng (2002). "Notes on Magnoliaceae". Journal of Tropical and Subtropical Botany (Guangzhou) 10 (2): 128–132.
- Sima, Y.-K. (2001). "Some Notes on Magnolia Subgenus Michelia from China". Yunnan Forestry Science and Technology (Kunming) 2: 29–35.