is a large evergreen tree, native to the Indomalaya ecozone (consisting of South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...
, Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...
and some parts of China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...
). It is best known for its strongly fragrant yellow or white flowers. It is, however, primarily cultivated for its timber, and is also used in urban landscaping
Landscaping refers to any activity that modifies the visible features of an area of land, including:# living elements, such as flora or fauna; or what is commonly referred to as gardening, the art and craft of growing plants with a goal of creating a beautiful environment within the landscape.#...
. Its aril
An aril is any specialized outgrowth from the funiculus that covers or is attached to the seed. It is sometimes applied to any appendage or thickening of the seed coat in flowering plants, such as the edible parts of the mangosteen and pomegranate fruit, the mace of the nutmeg seed, or the...
-covered seeds are highly attractive to birds.
This species occurs in varying shades of cream to yellow-orange. In China, M. champaca
is documented. Magnolia × alba
Magnolia × alba, commonly known as the white champaca, is a flowering plant of hybrid origin found nowhere in the wild and cultivated for ornamental use...
is a hybrid cultivar of M. champaca
. In Thailand, there has been some purported man-made hybrids with other magnolia species including Magnolia liliifera
and Magnolia coco
The species ephithet, champaca
, comes from the Sanskrit word . Common names in other languages include champaca
, Sonchaaphaa(सोन चाफ़ा)
in the marathi language
Marathi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Marathi people of western and central India. It is the official language of the state of Maharashtra. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most...
, Chenbakam/Chenpakam (செண்பகம்) in Tamil
Tamil is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by Tamil people of the Indian subcontinent. It has official status in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu and in the Indian union territory of Pondicherry. Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka and Singapore...
, Chenbagam in Malayalam
Malayalam , is one of the four major Dravidian languages of southern India. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India with official language status in the state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry. It is spoken by 35.9 million people...
or golden champa, স্বর্ণচাঁপা
Bengali or Bangla is an eastern Indo-Aryan language. It is native to the region of eastern South Asia known as Bengal, which comprises present day Bangladesh, the Indian state of West Bengal, and parts of the Indian states of Tripura and Assam. It is written with the Bengali script...
, champa, cempaka, sampenga and sampangi in Telugu
Telugu is a Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu...
, Sampige(ಸಂಪಿಗೆ) in Kannada
Kannada or , is a language spoken in India predominantly in the state of Karnataka. Kannada, whose native speakers are called Kannadigas and number roughly 50 million, is one of the 30 most spoken languages in the world...
and shamba. All other names above apply to Plumeria
Plumeria is a genus of flowering plants of the family that includes Dogbane: the Apocynaceae. It contains 7-8 species of mainly deciduous shrubs and small trees...
varieties as well with the exception of Sonchaaphaa
which is exclusively this particular subvariety as considered in the western regions, with some half a dozen varieties of Plumeria
along with Magnolia champaca
(three varieties) and two varieties of Ylang Ylang covered under the generic name Chaaphaa
in Marathi, and some given independent names ending in the generic Chaaphaa
; red plumeria variety for instance is Dev Chaaphaa
or God's Champa
, and the two Ylang Ylang varieties each have a separate name as well.
The flowers are used in Southeast Asia for several purposes. They are primarily used for worship at temples whether at home or out, and more generally worn in hair by girls and women as a means of beauty ornament as well as a natural perfume. Flowers are used to be floated in bowls of water to scent the room, as a fragrant decoration for bridal beds, and for garlands.
however is more rare and has a strong perfume, and is not that commonly or plentifully used - for example in hair it is worn singly or as a small corsage but rarely as a whole garland, and for bridal beds it is most often jasmine and roses while for bowls of water to be placed around rooms usually other, more colourful for visual decoration and less strongly perfumed flowers are used."
The flower is sometimes commonly called the 'Joy perfume tree.' Many niche perfumers are now once again using Champaca Absolute as single note fragrances, notably Ormonde Jayne Perfumery launched in 2002 Champaca
, Tom Ford
Champaca Absolute and Comme des Garcons.
is cultivated and used as an ornamental tree in temperate climate gardens, such as in coastal California.