Michelia maudiae

Discussion in 'Magnoliaceae' started by Junglekeeper, Apr 5, 2005.

  1. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I too bought a Michelia maudiae last year. It's a beautiful tree, nice foliage with neatly spaced laterals. I bought the tree for the fragrance though I've not actually smelled it myself. Sounds like I'll have something to look forward to. I don't know whether it'll flower for me this year as I pruned it back severely late last winter. It's been putting on quite a bit of growth in the last week or so. BTW, what does it smell like?

    The aglaia that I bought last year is developing flower buds so I'm looking forward to smelling that for the first time too. How's yours doing?
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    What's an aglaia?
     
  3. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Aglaia odorata, Chinese perfume tree is a houseplant that I had read about and asked for a source for on the forums. Unfortunately when I finally borrowed the car and made it down to the nursery where it is available in Richmond, they only had large rather costly plants. It was too much to spend at the time and I decided to wait to buy a small starter plant.

    I have never smelled this one either. I read about it. It is supposed to bloom very well in low light conditions on an intermittent basis. Fragrant plants that grow in low light appeal to me because my house does not have a lot of bright light. I have read mixed reviews of the intensity of the fragrance on the web, but all described it as pleasant. I think there is variation in the plants available.

    Junglekeeper when yours blooms let me know if it is worth it. I may spring for it anyway.
    The Michelia maudiae has a wonderful intense tropical fragrance, a little spicy, very sweet and flowery/fruity if that makes sense.
     
  4. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I'll report back on the aglaia fragrance. The owner at the nursery is hoping to have smaller plants available through propagation but it may not be for some time. I've tried rooting some cuttings in the past but was unsuccessful. There's another batch in process with more mature cuttings from my spring pruning. Maybe I'll get something from that. This is the most expensive plant cost-wise in my collection. There was a smaller, less robust specimen at another place that sold for ~$35 last year. What price range are you looking at?

    For low light/fragrance you may want to consider the many varieties of Osmanthus fragrans. They smell nice and are available locally at reasonable prices.

    Back onto the topic at hand, I'm a little wary of your mention of spicy. This is the word that has been used to describe the fragrance of Murraya paniculata. I find that plant to be rather pungent and overwhelming when it is in full bloom; it's okay when there are only a few blooms. I guess it's one of the more subjective fragrances. I'm hoping M. maudiae, in terms of fragrance, will follow the footsteps of its more notable relatives M. figo and in particular M. x alba.
     
  5. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    I was hoping for a small plant at $20-$30 (or less). They had plants over $50. I don't like to invest too much on a plant that I have not grown before.

    The M. maudiae has a very complex fragrance. It is hard to describe fragrances and it was last year that I experienced it. I do really like M. paniculata, but I would not describe that as spicy (more perfumey to me).

    Osmanthus is a good idea, thanks for that.
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I'm with you on that one. I'll keep my eyes open for A. odorata in your price range.
     
  7. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    The aglaia has bloomed! The fragrance has a hint of lemon and is light, sweet, and pleasant. The scent came from only 5 of 8 tiny flowers on a single inflorescence. I had to stick my nose right up to them but from what I've read the scent is supposed to waft. Since the last exchange here, the plant has produced much growth. However there is no sign of new blooms. Their production may have been aborted by the application of fertilizer or by early spring pruning. The plant is definitely a keeper based on this very limited olfactory experience. I'm hoping it'll produce more blooms this season.

    I finally managed to experience the smell of M. maudiae at a local nursery. It has a light, refreshing fragrance of wintergreen.
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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