Leaf of the Day: The Joy of White Champaca.

Today I had to eat that last fragrant little guava, it has scented the whole house over the weekend, but I have replaced it with the superb White Champaca blossom. It has been in a container in the fridge for 3 days but as I brought it out , the whole room was filled with the most exquisite perfume. It is quite unbelievable and, it is not only sweet smelling, but beautiful too, the kind of flower I like, simple with slender creamy white petals, most elegant. You just have to keep going back to it for one more noseful of delight. If you live near one, beg a blossom or if your garden is big enough, grow one for yourself. If I had a garden it would be my number one tree. For an artist it is a delight, everything about it is worth painting, from leaves and flowers to the twisted pods with the red seeds and the tree itself.
The White Champaca is the Magnolia (once termed Michelia) alba. It is a tall, evergreen tree with these spidery creamy white flowers and the delicious sweet fragrance which starts early in the morning becoming more intense in the afternoon and filling the air at night. It is Shanghai’s floral emblem and in Thailand the blossoms are hung about the temple altars and floated in bowls of water to perfume the air.

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One Comment

  1. Hi there,

    I'm starting a blog called the Champaca Tree and I would love to use your Champaca leaf sketch as a background.

    I would credit and link to your site of course.

    Please let me know what you think.




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