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Michelia figo (Lour.) Spreng.

Modern name

Magnolia figo (Lour.) DC.


Liriodendron figo Lour.; Michelia fuscata (Andr.) Wall.; Magnolia fuscata Andr.; Liriopsis fuscata (Andr.) Spach

An evergreen shrub ultimately 10 to 20 ft high, of bushy habit; young shoots densely clothed with short brown hairs. Leaves narrowly oval or slightly obovate, tapering towards both ends, the apex blunt, 112 to 4 in. long, 58 to 2 in. wide, furnished with brown down at first, finally nearly glabrous, dark glossy green; stalk 18 in. long, hairy like the shoots. Flowers very fragrant, produced in the leaf-axils, each on a brown, downy stalk 12 in. long; sepals and petals yellowish green stained with dull purple, 34 to 1 in. long; flower-buds at first enclosed by brown downy bracts. Bot. Mag., t. 1008.

Native of China; introduced according to Aiton in 1789. At Kew this shrub has to be given the protection of a cool greenhouse, but in the mildest parts of our islands it is hardy. It is a cheerful evergreen, not conspicuous for beauty of flower but one of the most fragrant of all shrubs. Two or three blossoms will fill a small greenhouse with their fruity perfume, which strongly recalls that of an old-fashioned sweet known as ‘pear-drops’. A succession of flowers is produced from April to summer.



Other species in the genus