Michelia champaca

carney(23)November 30, 2005

My healthy M. champaca is about ten feet tall, but it has only had a few blossoms whose fragrance wasn't especially remarkable. When do they normally bloom--what months? Thanks for any information. Carney at Carney3@charter.net.

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Heathen1(10a)

Mine bloomed all summer... and was especially fragrant when it was cooler. I have it in a large clay pot and fertilize it whenever I remember. I had it in morning sun, till about 12.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2005 at 11:43PM
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calistoga_al

Mine is at the east end of the house as a foundation planting. It gets up to the roof overhang, about 12ft. I cut it back but it quickly grows back. I will move it when I think of a better location. It blooms well in the late winter but the fragrance is not so strong. It is about 10 years old. Al

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 9:48AM
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carney(23)

Thanks Heathen and Calistoga for responding to my inquiry. I note a difference of opinion re the blooming season of the M. champaca. Is it summer or winter?

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 12:51PM
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Heathen1(10a)

Calistoga and I live probably around 100 miles from each other... mine seemed to bloom from spring time till around October this year... very heavily during the summer. But different situations could get different blooming.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2005 at 11:35PM
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youreit

Sunset states that it blooms most often in winter and summer. What a contrast! I don't think I've heard of any other plants which bloom the heaviest during the coldest and hottest times of year. :)

Brenda

    Bookmark   December 2, 2005 at 9:12AM
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youreit

Also, I'm not sure if you saw the article in the FAQ, Carney, but I've provided the link below. I didn't read through the whole thing, but maybe something in there can help you understand your plant better. :)

Brenda

Here is a link that might be useful: Michelia Culture

    Bookmark   December 3, 2005 at 8:56PM
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carney(23)

Youreit: Hot and Cold. Sounds oxymoron, doesn't it?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2005 at 1:10PM
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cloob(9)

When do they bloom depends upon the development of the current year growths. Flower buds are form on new growths, since new growths are form at different times flowers buds will be form at different times. Thus it is not strange to hear the M. champaca flowering during the winter month while another plant flowering in the spring. As the plant gets older more growths are being generated over a longer period of time and depending on the environment can flower " all year long "
Cal

    Bookmark   December 7, 2005 at 11:14AM
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baci(z10Ca)

I read the above posts, but has anyone tried grafting them or starting them from seed? Yes, they can seed.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 7:40AM
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cloob(9)

Baci
The answer to your question is yes & yes.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2005 at 12:22PM
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baci(z10Ca)

OK, cloob. What kind of media do you start the alba in, & how long does it take to germinate? When do you start them? What is your grafting technique? Any seed treatment? What is the germination rate?
Sorry for so many questions, but there is no web information on this since I guess it is unusual for the alba to set seed.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 6:38AM
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cloob(9)

Hi Baci
My germination rate for Michelia alba without chemical treatment is very low around 5% (see angelfire). The fresh seeds with the seed coats removed are planted in a 50/50 peat-perlite mix. Michelia champaca on the other hand has an 80% germination rate
Nothing special on the grafting technique, side and approach works well chip budding and cuttings works too
( on the California Garden forum search box (down at the bottom) type in "rooting a Michelia alba branch"

Here is a link that might be useful: angefire

    Bookmark   December 11, 2005 at 11:57PM
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cloob(9)

Sorry Baci- forgot to tell you to click "Entire site" after typing in "rooting a Michelia alba branch in the search box.
Cal

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 8:29AM
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carney(23)

Hi Cloob, Hi Baci: Are we discussing M. Champaca or M. alba?

I was talking originally about M. Champaca that doesn't seem to want to bloom.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2005 at 11:10AM
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cloob(9)

Hi Carney my first reply was to your question about Michelia champaca.
My third reply was to Baci because he asked for Michelia alba.
I too was confuse for a momment because we were talking about Michelia champaca - hope everyone is now on the same page

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 12:11AM
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Heathen1(10a)

My alba would bloom if I wasn't such a bad plant mommy and forgetful of watering. :o( Poor thing... it suffered.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2005 at 8:19PM
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baci(z10Ca)

Hi cloob. The tree I meant is Michelia champaca alba  sorry for the confusion. The pod looks like a ½ inch cluster of grapes. I am going to try & get a picture of it. The seeds are fresh but so far no germination.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 2:35AM
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cloob(9)

Baci, the seeds resembles 1/2-inch cluster of grapes? Sounds like you have a Michelia champaca plant not alba. What colors are the flowers? In the picture the seedpods on the left are Michelia champaca to the right alba.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   December 14, 2005 at 3:09PM
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baci(z10Ca)

It is: Michelia champaca var. 'alba' - Joy Perfume Tree on the right side of this link:

http://elib.cs.berkeley.edu/cgi/img_query?stat=BROWSE&query_src=photos_flora_com&where-genre=Plant&where-namesoup=Joy+Perfume+Tree&rel-namesoup=matchphrase

I have been getting home too late to get seed pictures, but here is what the starting of a pod looks like:

http://www.mgonlinestore.com/Alba/micheliaalba02.jpg

It looks like they graft a white onto an orange  at least in this site to get it to take.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2005 at 5:25AM
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baci(z10Ca)

Here are pictures of the Michelia champaca var. 'alba' seeds. The seeds you posted, cloob, - are they from the orange variety?

The problem I have run into is most sites say the M. champaca var alba can not seed. It can, with a mature tree under the right conditions. They can also germinate. Anyway, I guess I will try & find the nurseryman who germinated them before. It is so rare to find a seed which is why I posted. The nursery that originally sold the tree was selling pods for $25.00 each, which is one reason why to not waste seeds.

Here are the seeds:

The information on searching the site for propagation is great.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 8:08AM
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carney(23)

Dear cloob/Baci: Appreciate all this discussion about seeds and stuff (because I'm learning somethings I didn't know) but my original question was--"When do they normally bloom--what months"? Folks, can we go back to the main subject of my post. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 11:45AM
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mrao77(TX US zone 7)

Hi Cal and Baci,
Could you plaese tell me more about germinating M.champaca seeds. I have sucess to several tropical plants but am new to the Michelias. Give me as much detail as you can, I am a novice!
Thanks,
Malini

    Bookmark   December 30, 2005 at 6:01PM
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angelsmell(Fullerton, CA 1)

How tall does the Michelia Champaca (yellow flowers)have to be to bloom, mine is about six feet tall. What is the difference in the scent from the white vrs yellow?
I have 4 of the Alba's and just love them, now I want to compare to the Champace yellow version. please describe.
I live in So calif.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 1:46AM
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baci(z10Ca)

The tree I was discussing last year finally seeded again, and the seeds look like the one to the right of cloobs pictures. The seeds I originally posted probably were not pollinated or something. The tree is 20 ft, & unfortunately there were about 4 on the entire tree.
As far as how to germinate them I do not know. I spoke with a botanist who told me they needed stratification in peat moss, but I have not tried it. She also said they were not true to type  propagation usually involved grafting an alba onto the orange. A private tree grower simply planted the seeds of the tree I was discussing, & he had a 40% germination rate.
Angelsmell, someone else can probably answer your smell question better than I, but there are some pretty neat nurseries in your area that probably have the tree. It should be ending its bloom around this time but maybe some of them still have the blooms.
If you ever see this post again, cloob, thanks again for your help. If you have any germination tips I would love to hear them, as well as how many seed pods your tree (as well as the age & size of the tree) produced. I am glad to see another grower see seeds on this tree, since the internet material is lacking.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 8:55AM
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Heathen1(10a)

I sure would like to get seeds on my champaca.... I don't seem to be fertilizing them correctly or something.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2006 at 11:27AM
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alba-mickey(San Francisco)

Like to know the difference between Michelia Alba and Michelia Champaca tree? If anyon have Michelia alba or Michelia Champaca tree, can you email to me with the images. Thank you.
alba-mickey

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 3:10AM
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greenwitch(Sz19 SoCal)

The difference is the M. champaca (orange flowers) has slightly fuzzy leaves (back of the leaf) and M. alba (white flowers) is very smooth. I read that the champaca takes longer to bloom (i.e. needs more maturity) while the alba blooms readily and precociously. That has been the case with my two trees (I'm STILL waiting for champaca to bloom).

They like excellent drainage, ample moisture and humidity, probably acid rather than alkaline soil/water, mulch over their root zone and light frequent feedings. They dislike wind and blazing sun/low humidity combos - the foliage burns.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 4:41PM
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templeoflove

Hi, I just purchased an 8-foot Michelia Champaca tree from a nursery. It has sparing flowers, although it is very cold in LA now (in the 50's). Could everyone comment on the age of tree and the flowering period? Thank you so much!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2008 at 10:55PM
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nattushy

Ihave recently got a M champaca plant about 2 feet tall,am told about 2 yers old. How old does it have to be to flower

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 5:49PM
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empireman(Hollywood Hills)

Here in the Hollywood Hills - my Alba is 4 years old now and has been in the ground for the last three years. It has grown up to about 20 feet now, and blooms year round with fragrant creamy white blooms. There are more blooms in the summer. I water it well twice weekly and fertilize it with super bloom and osmocote twice a year. I have trimmed it back twice now and it continues to get larger and LARGER. It's my favorite plant here, and just a few blooms set in a bowl of water brings me back to Bali where I discovered the incredible fragrance. Note should be taken that the blooms are so much bigger now that the tree has gotten big and is in the ground.

    Bookmark   June 30, 2010 at 4:41PM
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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

I am thinking it might be a matter of size rather than age in getting it to bloom. I bought a 5 foot Champaca almost 18 months ago and it still has not yet bloom. I estimate that the tree was at least 2 years when I got it judging from the size.
So, this probably needs to be planted in the grown so it attain a large root mass and more branching.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 1:14AM
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Michelia-Mickey

I live in San Francisco, Ca. By looking at this Michelia Alba tree, can you guess how tall it is? Well, I have this michelia alba tree planted in my backyard for almost 30 years. Now it is about 25 to 30 feet tall. Each year, it blloms a lot of very fragrant flowers from early spring to Nov. By th way, on June 2011 I airlayered my michelia alba tree. On June 2012 I discovered that it was rooting. Hope it will grow after I trasplanted into the pot.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Michelia-Mickey

Here is the picture of my michelia alba tree in my backyard in San Francisco. Big and tall.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2012 at 1:40PM
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