Magnolia x alba (White Champaca)

Scientific Name

Magnolia alba (DC.) Figlar

Common Names

White Champaca, White Sandalwood, White Jade Orchid Tree

Synonyms

Magnolia alba, Michelia x longifolia, Michelia longifolia, Sampacca x longifolia, Sampacca longifolia

Scientific Classification

Family: Magnoliaceae
Subfamily: Magnolioideae
Genus: Magnolia

Flower

Color: White
Bloom Time: Mid-spring through to fall

Description

Magnolia x alba is a fast-growing, medium-sized tree with an upright habit and attractive, evergreen, lime-green leaves. It grows up to 100 feet (30 m) tall. The lovely, orchid-like, highly fragrant white flowers appear from mid-spring through to fall.

Magnolia x alba (White Champaca)
Photo via lahoregardening.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 8a to 11b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Although different species of Magnolia can tolerate slightly different conditions. In general, they will do best with slightly acidic, moist, loose, well-draining soil. To mimic Magnolia's natural conditions, amend heavy soil with peat moss and compost. Grow best in Zones 7-10, depending on variety, with a few cultivars hardy to zone 5. Full sun to partial shade. Moist, peaty soil can help Magnolias tolerate full sun. If you're pushing the limits of cold tolerance, avoid planting Magnolias in southern exposure since the leaves can be damaged by winter sun and flowers may open prematurely. Magnolias benefit from irrigation in the first few years, and then they are tolerant of moderate drought.

They need room to grow to their full mature size and width. While looking small when first planted, over time, they'll grow to fill up space.

Some Magnolia varieties don't bloom until 15 years old, so be sure to choose one that fits your needs and expectations. Grafted plants (rather than seed-grown) bloom sooner. See more at How to Grow and Care for Magnolias.

Origin

It is a flowering plant of hybrid origin commonly cultivated in southeast Asia and tropical regions of East Asia. Although the exact origin is uncertain, it is considered a hybrid of Magnolia champaca and Magnolia montana.

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