Michelia Alba – Cempaka Putih

I’ve been waiting to write about this cempaka putih for so long. At last it blooms in March 2011 and I get to take a few pictures to share here.

I used to plant a pot of cempaka telur – Michelia Pumila or dwarf magnolia. But it doesn’t live long so I got another type of cempaka during Floria 2010. This time it’s a grafted plant of Michelia Alba which means it will bloom even though it’s small (not even 1 metre in height). I read somewhere that Michelia Alba or Magnolia Alba is a hybrid between Michelia Champaca (yellow orange flower) and Magnolia Montana.

Its name is in honor of Florentine botanist Pietro Antonio Micheli.

Another common name for it is white sandalwood. It is native to the Yunan province of China, grown for its exotic and beautifully fragrant flowers esteemed in China and around the world. Some say that the flower extract is one of the main ingredients for world’s most expensive perfume “Joy”.

From toptropicals.com,

Michelia alba has good antimicrobial properties, especially the leaves. It also has an antioxidant character with moderate effect.

It is also best to note the many names of this Michelia Alba in different language : White Champak, Pak-Lan, Banana Shrub, Cempaka Putih, Bai Yu Lan ( white-jade flower), Bai Yu Lan, Safa.

For my future reference, here is the link for article about Tropical Magnolias.

I hope my Michelia Alba will last long this time. Maybe I need to re-assign its spot to a place where it can get more full sun to make it blooms all year round. I will do that next time I do my gardening and see whether it makes any difference.

Note: Another great entry about Michelia Alba – The Kings of Fragrant Plants.


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