hongkongers are familiar with white champak (michelia alba). we love the lingering delicate scent and the elegant ivory blossoms. its close relative joy perfume tree (michelia champaca) however is less known. the two sisters look quite alike. but champaca is the wilder one, with lavish orange-yellow colour and much stronger fragrant.
i am familiar with lai chi kok park. but obviously not well enough. two weeks ago. i went to visit the park. suddenly, some pleasant fragrant lured me to a corner of the small chinese garden in the older part of the park.looking up to the few trees there, the lovely sweetness come from the orange-yellow blossoms.
i then quickly recognized these are joy perfume tree, a relative of the white champak, because their flowers look very similar. both are native to china as well as south-east asia. meanwhile, champaca seems more worldly, as perfumers are using champaca absolute as single note fragrances, thus the common name of joy perfume tree.
這時的果，青澀。暫難想像她像假蘋婆（不過假蘋婆的是聚合蓇葖果）一樣，果熟會裂開，每顆黃蘭果有二或更多顆的紅色種子。期待碰到黃蘭的果熟期。(前文《假蘋婆 lance-leaved sterculia》)
another difference between the two sisters is that alba is hardly seen bearing fruit in hong kong, but not champaca. in fact i could see some young fruits on the michelia champaca trees at lai chi kok park. the fruit is made up of follicles that are dry and brown at maturity and split open at one side. each follicle contain two or more reddish seeds. i hope i can catch that stage of the tree later.
黃蘭 joy perfume tree (michelia champaca) – kingdom: plantae 植物界| (unranked): angiosperms | (unranked): magnoliids | order: magnoliales 木蘭目 | family: magnoliaceae 木蘭科 | genus: magnolia 木蘭屬 | species: m. champaca wiki