Michelia maudiae

Scientific name: Michelia maudiae

Author: Stephen Troyte Dunn (1868-1938)

Common name: None recorded

Family: Magnoliaceae


Michelia maudiae   


View this treasure from about half way along the Visitor Centre deck or descend to its level to experience the subtlety and fragrance.

A stream bank in a mountainous area of Jiangxi Province, China, was home to the plant from which seed of this seldom-cultivated beauty was collected in 1990 by staff of the Shanghai Botanic Garden. Arriving in Sydney in May 1991, as Michelia skinneriana, the seed was germinated at Mount Tomah in June and a seedling planted out in the Terrace Garden in April 1992. The first flowers were recorded in August 1995 and an annual display has followed.

Between three and ten genera are recognized within the ancient 'flowering plant' family Magnoliaceae, the most often cultivated being members of the genus Magnolia.

The genus Michelia differs from the magnolias in having flowers in the leaf axils, rather than at branch ends, and a short stalk beneath the female reproductive parts. There are some 45 species of Michelia with M. doltsopa and M. figo, ‘The Port Wine Magnolia’, being the most common in cultivation.

Early rhododendrons such as the pale pink ‘Christmas Cheer’, the darker ‘Elegans’ the ruby red ‘Cornubia’ and the golden ‘R.W. Rye’ will be in full flower. The winter roses, Helleborus spp., linger and are joined by lashings of pink Pieris spp. and spring bulbs dot the landscape at every glance. Camellias, proteas, ericas and our wonderful native wattles all help us to celebrate spring.