Country of origin: Hong-Kong
Michelia compressa is a small evergreen tree that grows in its native habitat to as much as 40′ tall with a dense rounded crown. In ornamental plantings, it often is seen growing much shorter (to 10-15′ tall and to 5-12′ wide). It is sometimes grown as a large shrub. It is native to flat lands and forests in Japan, the Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan. Michelia is very similar to Magnolia, except it has smaller flowers that bloom in the leaf axils along the branches. Fragrant, tulip-shaped, pale yellow to whitish flowers (to 2″ wide) bloom in mid to late spring. Flowers are followed by 3-seeded fruits. Oblong, leathery, glossy, green leaves (to 4″ long) are evergreen, but will fall off somewhat sporadically throughout the year rather than all falling at the same time. Genus name honors Pietro Antonio Micheli, Florentine botanist (1679-1737).