Botanical Survey of India | Flora of India

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Michelia champaca L., Sp. Pl. 536. 1753; Hook. f. & Thomson in Fl. Brit. India 1: 42. 1872. M. rheedii Wight, Illus. 1: 14. 1840.

Asm.: Tita-sopa; Beng. & Hindi: Champa; Kan.: Chembiga; Kh: Shap, Tita- sopa; Mal.: Chembagam; Naga: Ching-kappa; Nep.: Aule-champ, Champ; Tam.: Chembagam; Tel.: Champalcum.

Evergreen trees, up to 25 m tall; bark thick, grey; young branches sericeous. Leaves ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, acute to cuneate at base, finely long-acuminate at apex, 8 - 25 x 4 - 10 cm, thinly coriaceous, shiny and glabrous above, minutely pubescent beneath, especially on midrib; lateral nerves 12 - 18 pairs; tertiaries finely reticulate in square or rectangular pattern; petioles up to 3 cm long, subglabrous; stipules adnate to the petiole, subglabrous, up to 3 cm long; stipular scars 1 - 2 cm long; leaf-buds lanceolate, ferruginous pubescent outside. Flowers axillary, rarely terminal, solitary, 3.5 - 6 cm across, pale yellow, becoming orange, fragrant; flower-buds ovoid; pedicels up to 1.5 cm long, minutely tomentose; bracts spathaceous, broadly ovate, ca 2.5 cm long, silky outside. Perianth parts 12 - 15, oblanceolate, oblong-lanceolate, ca 4 x 1 cm, gradually narrowed towards centre, fleshy. Stamens numerous, subclavate; filaments short; connective appendage ca 1 mm long; anthers up to 8 mm long. Gynoecium stipitate, 1.5 - 2 cm long, glabrous; carpels numerous, ovoid-oblong, 8 - 10 x 4 mm; stigmatic crest recurved, ca 2 mm long. Fruiting receptacles 8 - 15 cm long; ripe carpels woody, laxly arranged, ovoid to ellipsoid, 1 - 2 cm long, white-speckled. Seeds many, enclosed by fleshy red aril.

Fl. & Fr. March - July.

Distrib. India: Tropical and subtropical forests, up to 600 m, often planted near temples. Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, Tripura, Meghalaya and Orissa.

Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, S.W. China to Malesia.

Notes. Heartwood is light olive-brown, very durable and useful for cabinet and building work, seasons and polishes· very well.

Ornamental tree, often planted near temples.

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