Champak (Michelia Champaka)

Champak (Michelia Champaka)

- in Flower, Flora

F-23-3-MICHELIA-CAMPAKAITS–The scientific name for this species is Michelia champaka. The Champak flower belongs to the family of Magnoliaceae. There are two varieties of this species: the Golden Yellow and the Pure White Champak. The Pure White Champak alone has two sub-varieties, one with smaller flowers.

The Indonesians call this flower “bunga cempaka” and commonly use it for its fragrance. The Balinese name for this plant is “capaka.”

The champak tree can grow 15-25 meters high, and as a result, the flowers that grow on it are not easily visible from the ground. Moreover, the flowers are hidden among the leaf clusters. Before flourishing fully, the buds are covered tightly like a capsule. The petals are based on concentric structures, commonly around three circles. Every successive circle is smaller than the previous one. Generally, there are four or five large petals on the outside circle. The further inside that the petal is, the smaller it is. The large outside petals grow up to 11 cm in diameter. The champak flower sbloom throughout the year. The light green leaves (about 10 cm wide and 22 cm long) are oval-shaped and sharp at both ends. Each leaf is attached to the tree branch by a stem (about 2 cm long).

It is believed that the champak flowers are the most fragrant of all flowers. Especially in Bali, champak plays an important role in ritual ceremonies, adorning the offerings. Champak flowers are used for perfumes and hair oil. The bark of the tree is believed to have medical power to heal fevers.

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