Michelia alba DC.

Last updated: 7 July 2015

Scientific Name

Michelia alba DC.


Michelia longifolia var. racemosa Blume. [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Chempaka gading, chempaka puteh (Peninsular) [2]
China Bai lan [3]
Indonesia Cempaka putih (General); campaka bodas (Sundanese); kantil (Javanese) [2]
Thailand Champee (General) [2]
Philippines Champakang puti (Filipino) [2]
Vietnam ng[oj]c lan tr[aws]ng [2]
Laos Cham pi [2]

Geographical Distributions

Michelia alba is a commonly cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions, probably throughout Malesia. [2]

Michelia is found scattered in primary lowland to montane rain forest, up to 2100 m altitude. [2]

Botanical Description

M. alba is comes from the family Magnoliaceae. It is an evergreen or semi-deciduous, small to large trees and up to measure 50 m tall. The bole is straight, cylindrical, up to measure about 200 cm in diametre and without buttresses. The bark surface is smooth and grey to greyish-white in colour while the inner bark is fibrous and yellow to brown in colour. The crown is conical to cylindrical in shape. [2]

The leaves are arranged spirally, simple and entire. The stipules are adnate to or free from the petiole. [2]

The flowers are on short and axillary brachyblast. They are solitary or rarely in pairs and large. The tepals are 6-21, usually in 3-6 subequal whorls and white to yellow in colour. There are many stamens while the anthers are with a short to prominently elongated connective. The gynoecium is stipitate, with few-many, spirally arranged, free or connate carpels that contain 2 ovules. [2]

The fruiting carpels dehisce along the suture dorsal when free or fused and form a fleshy or woody syncarp. [2]

The seed hangs from its funicle. Seedling is with epigeal germination. The leafy cotyledons are emergent while the hypocotyl is elongated. All leaves are arranged spirally. [2]


No documentation

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of M. alba. [2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Michelia alba DC. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Apr 18; cited 2015 July 7]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/tro-50099121
  2. Dasuki UA, Kuswanto MS. Michelia L.In: LPA Oyen, Nguyen Xuan Dung, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 19: Essential-oil plants. Leiden, Netherlands Backhuys Publisher, 1999; p. 135-140
  3. Quattrocchi U. CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press; 2012. p. 135.