Family: Magnoliaceae

This genus of around 45 species of evergreen, flowering shrubs and trees comes originally from tropical and subtropical Asia and is closely related to the magnolia. The timber of several species is used in carving and fine furniture work, and the essential oil from the flowers of M. champaca is used in perfumery. This species is often grown around Hindu and Jain temples.


M. champaca is an upright tree, to 25 m (80 ft) in its habitat, rarely reaching more than 10 m (33 ft) in cultivation. Very fragrant, creamy yellow flowers appear from midsummer to autumn.

M. doltsopa grows to 10 m (33 ft) in cultivation, with scented, cream flowers in spring and early summer and bright, glossy green foliage.

M. figo, port wine magnolia, has a shrubby growth habit. The leaves are glossy and the very small, cream flowers are tinged with purple and richly perfumed. Growing to 5 m (16 ft), it makes a good screen or hedge plant.


Grow in a cool greenhouse or conservatory in frost-prone climates, in acid, soil-based compost. Outdoors, grow in well-drained yet moist, acid to neutral soil containing plenty of humus, in a sheltered spot, with full sun or partial shade. Propagate by layering in spring or from semi-ripe cuttings in summer.


Zone 9.

Click to view map of zones
Climate zone map