It thrives in moist, humus rich, well drained soil in a sunny to partly shaded location protected from frost. Avoid transplanting once established. Apply mulch in spring to keep roots cool and moist.
An evergreen, rounded shrub or small tree to 3 metres with glossy green, oval leaves. Richly fragrant, brownish-purple flowers are borne in spring and summer. Pruning will produce new flowering growth. Water well in summer.
Initially described by Portuguese missionary and naturalist J de Lourwiro as Liriodendron figo, it was then reclassified asMichelia figo by German botanist C Sprengel. For quite a while botanists considered almost half of all evergreen magnolia species under separate genus Michelia. In 2006, after detailed morphology studies, no scientific reasons were found for classifying those magnolias under a separate genus, and currently the name Michelia is used for specifying a separate Section of the Genera that contains evergreen Yulania magnolias.
The name Michelia honors Florentine botanist Pietro Antonio Micheli.
Should be available from your local garden centre.