Michelia ×alba DC.

Michelia ×alba DC.




M. longifolia Blume.

Vernacular Names

Malaysia Chempaka gading, chempaka puteh (Peninsular).
Indonesia Cempaka putih (General), campaka bodas (Sundanese), kantil (Javanese).
Philippines Champakang puti (Filipino).
Laos Cham pi.
Thailand Champee (General).
Vietnam ng[oj]c lan tr[aws]ng.

Geographical Distributions

Michelia alba is a commonly cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions, probably throughout Malesia.


M. alba is an evergreen or semi-deciduous, small to large trees and up to measure 50 m tall. The bole is straight, cylindrical, up to measure about 200 cm in diametre and without buttresses. The bark surface is smooth and grey to greyish-white in colour while the inner bark is fibrous and yellow to brown in colour. The crown is conical to cylindrical in shape.

The leaves are arranged spirally, simple and entire. The stipules are adnate to or free from the petiole.

The flowers are on short and axillary brachyblast. They are solitary or rarely in pairs and large. The tepals are 6-21, usually in 3-6 subequal whorls and white to yellow in colour. There are many stamens while the anthers are with a short to prominently elongated connective. The gynoecium is stipitate, with few-many, spirally arranged, free or connate carpels that contain 2 ovules.

The fruiting carpels dehisce along the suture dorsal when free or fused and form a fleshy or woody syncarp.

The seed hangs from its funicle. Seedling is with epigeal germination. The leafy cotyledons are emergent while the hypocotyl is elongated. All leaves are arranged spirally.


Ecology / Cultivation

Michelia is found scattered in primary lowland to montane rain forest, up to 2100 m altitude.


Line Drawing / Photograph



    1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 5 (3): Timber trees: Lesser-known timbers.