Magnolia × alba

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White Champaca
Michelia alba (Campii).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Magnoliids
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia
Subgenus: M. subg. Yulania
Section: M. sect. Michelia
Subsection: M. subssect. Michelia
Species: M × alba [1]
Binomial name
Magnolia × alba
(DC.) Figlar[1][2]

Michelia longifolia Blume
Michelia × alba DC. (basionym)
Sampacca × longifolia (Blume) Kuntze

List sources :[2][3]

Magnolia × alba, also known as the white champaca, white sandalwood, or white jade orchid tree,[4] is a flowering plant of hybrid origin that is commonly cultivated in Southeast Asia and tropical regions of East Asia. Although the exact origin is uncertain, it is considered to be a hybrid of Magnolia champaca and Magnolia montana.[2]


The current name of white champaca derived from its local name in Indonesian language, Cempaka Putih.

The white champaca is known by various names in English including pak lan in Hawaii. Horticultural trade names used in the United States include the taxonomic synonym Michelia alba to fanciful ones such as 'white fragrant himalayan champaca'.[5]

Names in other languages include kantil in Javanese language.


Magnolia × alba matures to 30 meters with evergreen leaves; the flowers have a count of 12 tepals.


Magnolia × alba is widely cultivated as an ornamental in Asia, particularly tropical and subtropical regions of China and Southeast Asia for the strongly fragrant flowers.[6]

In Indonesia, the pleasantly fragrant flower is used and arranged together with Jasminum sambac as flower garland, especially wore by brides during traditional wedding ceremony.

An essential oil is extracted from the flowers. In China, where it is known as bai lan (白蘭), the flowers are used to prepare yulan tea.[2] In traditional Chinese medicine, the flowers are used to move qi and relieve cough.[7]


Images of Magnolia × alba
An illustration as depicted in Flora Javae; Magnolia × alba was first classified as Michelia Longifolia [sic] (BLUME, 1829
A garden specimen as grown in Maui, Hawaii 
A dissected view of a flower presenting the stamens and carpels of which appear characteristic of the genus 
A top view of a flower at climax; the flowers of M. × alba are noted for their fragrance 
Several stages of the bud and flower; note: this image does not depict complete graduation 


  1. ^ a b  Magnolia × alba was first identified and published in Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Family Magnoliaceae. Guangzhou, China 21. 2000 "Plant Name Details for Magnolia × alba". IPNI. Retrieved May 18, 2011. Hybrid Parentage: (Magnolia champaca (L.) Baill. ex Pierre × Magnolia montana (Blume) Figlar) ; Remarks: also published [later] by Figlar & Noot. in Blumea. 49(1): 96 (2004) 
  2. ^ a b c d  GRIN (April 19, 2007). "Magnolia × alba information from NPGS/GRIN". Taxonomy for Plants. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland: USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Retrieved May 18, 2011. 
  3. ^ Govaerts, R., compiler; R.Figlar (2006), H.Nooteboom (1996), S.Spongberg (1996), reviewers. "Michelia × longifolia Blume". World Checklist of Magnoliaceae. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet. Retrieved May 19, 2011. 
  4. ^ Hong Kong - Leisure and Cultural Services Department (2005). "Photo-Gallery Hong Kong Ornamental Plants". Greening Knowledge. Retrieved 27 May 2012. 
  5. ^ "Monrovia (Plant Catalog)–White Fragrant Himalayan Champaca". Monrovia. 2015. Retrieved August 25, 2015. White Fragrant Himalayan Champaca Michelia champaca 'Alba' 
  6. ^ Valder, Peter (1999), The garden plants of China, Timber Press 
  7. ^ Zhou, Jiaju; Xie, Guirong & Yan, Xinjian (2010), Encyclopedia of Traditional Chinese Medicines - Molecular Structures, Pharmacological Activities, Natural Sources and Applications: Isolated Compounds T-z, References for Isolated Compounds Tcm Original Plants and Congeners, China: Springer 

External links[edit]

Data related to Magnolia × alba at Wikispecies Media related to Magnolia × alba at Wikimedia Commons

See also[edit]