Appearance: Tall trees and shrubs resembling magnolias.
Flowers: Flowers resemble those of magnolias but are borne in the leaf axils.
Features: Attractive, often fragrant flowers. Attractively shaped habit.Oil distilled from some flowers (eg. M. champaca) for perfumery.
Requirements: Fertile, moist, deep, well drained soils preferred. Some species prefer warm temperate conditions, others prefer cooler conditions. Most prefer full sun.
Culture: Propagate by cuttings, mulch well, and keep soil moist.
Pest & Disease: Scale, grasshoppers, spray white oil, Rogor or similar.
Species & Varieties:
Approximately 50 species, including:
M. champaca -Tall tree to 15m or more, very fragrant yellow or orange flowers, well suited to tropics.
M. Figo (syn. M. fuscata) -A fast growing shrub to 5m, but usually much less. Shiny, dark green, entire leaves. Flowers cream with a purple edge, and a strong banana-like scent. Grow best where winter temperatures are cool.
M. nilagirica -A large shrub or small tree from southern India & Ceylon with white flowers to 10cm across.