Magnolia nilagirica

Magnolia nilagirica is a species of plant in the family Magnoliaceae. It is a tree that is threatened by habitat loss, endemic to the Western Ghats of India (including Agastya Mala, the Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuary, the Anaimalai and Palni Hills, the Nilgiri mountains, and Baba Budangiri),[2] and also Sri Lanka.[1]

Magnolia nilagirica
Magnolia nilagirica.JPG
Inflorescence and leaves of Magnolia nilagirica
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Magnoliids
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia
Subgenus: Magnolia subg. Yulania
Section: Magnolia sect. Michelia
Subsection: Magnolia subsect. Michelia
M. nilagirica
Binomial name
Magnolia nilagirica
  • Michelia glauca Wight
  • M. nilagirica Zenker (basionym)
  • M. n. var. walkeri (Wight) Hook.f. & Thomson
  • M. n. var. wightii Hook.f. & Thomson
  • M. ovalifolia Wight
  • M. pulneyensis Wight
  • M. walkeri Wight
  • Sampacca nilagirica (Zenker) Kuntze


A large tree; bark is brown with grey highlights and presents a cracked appearance. Leaves measure 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) × 2–4 cm (0.79–1.57 in) and are elliptic with both ends tapering. Flower petals are white, measuring about 7.5–10 cm (3.0–3.9 in) across; sepals measure between 9–12 cm (3.5–4.7 in), narrow at their innermost, and ever broader as they approach the outermost perimeter; carpels are sessile. Fruits measure 5–8 cm (2.0–3.1 in) in length, with many warty yellow follicles each about 1.5 cm (0.59 in) long, containing 1 to 2 scarlet seeds.[3]

Botanical classificationEdit

Magnolia nilagirica was originally described and published under the name Michelia nilagirica (the basionym) by Jonathan Carl Zenker (1799–1837) in Plantae Indicae, quas in montibus … , 2: 21, t. 20. 1836.[4] In 2000 it was reclassified under the genus Magnolia by Richard B. Figlar (In: Proceedings of the International Symposium on the Family Magnoliaceae, 23. 2000. Guangzhou, China).[5]

Ecological vulnerabilityEdit

Due to this tree's excellent wood quality, it is under severe threat of being over-logged. In general, the forests in which it grows are rapidly being harvested, at a faster pace than is needed to allow the forests a chance to regrow; it is estimated that this species in particular has lost 40% of its wild growing population during a period of about 180 years. The IUCN (2015) has determined that no improvements have been implemented to halt this pace of deforestation, and therefore have assessed its status as "vulnerable".[1] IUCN has not determined whether the stands of trees are becoming fragmented from within, or are more or less shrinking in area from the perimeter of their ranges.[1]

Vernacular namesEdit

This tree is known by different common names in various languages of India, as shown below:[6]

  • Hindi: pila champa
  • Tamil: kattu shanbagam
  • Kannada: bana sampige, bili sampige, bilisampage, dodda sampige
  • Telgu: tella sampanga
  • Sinhala: wanasapu
  • Malayalam: kattuchempakam (കാട്ടുചെമ്പകം)


  1. ^ a b c d e f Haridasan, K.; Ved, D.; Saha, D.; Ravikumar, K. (2015). "Magnolia nilagirica". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015: e.T15114888A15114897. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-2.RLTS.T15114888A15114897.en. Retrieved 20 November 2021.
  2. ^ "Michelia nilagirica Zenk. - MAGNOLIACEAE". BIOTIK. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  3. ^ S.G. Neginhal (2011). Forest trees of the Western Ghats : includes Eastern Ghats and Deccan Plateau. Bangalore : S.G. Neginhal.
  4. ^ "Name - Michelia nilagirica Zenk". Tropicos. Saint Louis, Missouri: Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  5. ^ "Name - Magnolia nilagirica (Zenk.) Figlar". Tropicos. Saint Louis, Missouri: Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved 26 September 2015.
  6. ^ D.K. Ved; Suma Tagadur Sureshchandra; Vijay Barve; Vijay Srinivas; Sathya Sangeetha; K. Ravikumar; R. Kartikeyan; Vaibhav Kulkarni; Ajith S. Kumar; S.N. Venugopal; B.S. Somashekhar; M.V. Sumanth; Sugandhi Rani; K.V. Surekha; Nikhil Desale, eds. (2014). "Plant details for Michelia nilagirica". Bangalore, India: Foundation for Revitalisation of Local Health Traditions's Environmental Information System Centre on Medicinal Plants. Retrieved 26 September 2015.

External linksEdit