Michelia Yunnanensis

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Name: Michelia Yunnanensis, Michelia Yunnanense or Magnolia Yunnanense
Scientific Name: I belive it is now called Magnolia Yunnanensis
Family: Magnoliaceae

Soil:Like most magnolias, michelia yunnanese enjoys soil that is a bit acidic.  I use a mixture of potting mix, dried pine needles, pine bark, perlite, bone meal and Dr. Q¡¯s Acid Plant food.
Sun: It enjoys filtered sun.  Too much direct sun can burn its leaves.
Water: Since the mixture has good drainage, I water it frequently to keep the soil moist.
Fertilizer: I used several fertilizers.  I find a little bit of each is often better than a large dose of one.   I also use the Iron Acidifier to give it an extra supply of iron. 
Care: Michelia yunnanense is supposed to be the hardiest of the michelias.  Not too much care is required to grow this plant.


Michelia yunnanense is a newer member of Magnoliaceae that's been introduced to the U.S.  It was formerly classified under michelia.  According to the Magnolia Society, it is now classified as magnolia, and its name has been changed to magnolia yunnanense or magnolia dianica.  Because the plant is rather new to U.S., a very little information can be found either online or from publications.

Michelia yunnanense, as its name implies, grown profusely on the mountains of Yunnan Province in southern China (north of Vietnam). Natively, it is called ¡°Pe Tai Xian¡± or ¡°Yun Nan Hang Xiao¡±.  It grows in the wild in the mountain pine forests. Under shelter of the pine trees and with its root systems buried under the thick mulch of pine needles, m. yunnanense usually grows to shrub size.  Its semi-shiny leaves have a hint of brown in it.  During early spring, small fuzzy little buds start to emerge among the leaves.  These buds are brown in color and velvety in texture, with short brown hairs as its outer layer.  Once they open, the flowers can range in color from pearly white to creamy white, with bright yellow stalks of stamen.  When blooming, the m. yunnanense deliveries a unique sweet fragrance.  Its fragrance is not as strong as michelia alba.  Though the mountains are usually covered with them, the compounded aroma of the flowers never becomes so strong as to be offensive; yet if even a single flower blooms in the wild, one can't mistake it for anything else.

My m. yunnanense is still very small.  It is about one foot high with only one branch.  I got it from a nursery in Oregon. Since it is a slow grower, I image it will take it a few more years before it flowers.  I put in under the partial shade of my lemon tree.  I tried to mimic its natural habitant by mulching it with pine needles.  It seems quite happy there.  So far, I have seen new leave buds formed.  I tried to research for some information about it online, but there is very limited information available.  Even with one of its pictures displayed on the welcome page on the Magnolia Society, there just isn¡¯t much information about it.  Only a handful of die-hard fragrant flower admirer in the garden forum seemed to have successfully grown the plant. I will post new information when it becomes available. 


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