Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-11 where it is best grown in moist, organically rich, acidic, well-drained loams in part shade. Plants perform well in morning sun followed by part shade in the heat of the afternoon or in sun dappled conditions under tree canopies. Foliage may burn in full sun exposures. Best sited in a location protected from high winds (minimize potential damage to leaves). May be grown in planters placed on a porch or deck.
Michelia compressa is a small evergreen tree that grows in its native habitat to as much as 40' tall with a dense rounded crown. In ornamental plantings, it often is seen growing much shorter (to 10-15' tall and to 5-12' wide). It is sometimes grown as a large shrub. It is native to flat lands and forests in Japan, the Ryukyu Islands and Taiwan. Michelia is very similar to Magnolia, except it has smaller flowers that bloom in the leaf axils along the branches. Fragrant, tulip-shaped, pale yellow to whitish flowers (to 2" wide) bloom in mid to late spring. Flowers are followed by 3-seeded fruits. Oblong, leathery, glossy, green leaves (to 4" long) are evergreen, but will fall off somewhat sporadically throughout the year rather than all falling at the same time. Genus name honors Pietro Antonio Micheli, Florentine botanist (1679-1737).
No serious insect or disease problems. Potential disease problems include leaf spots. Potential insect problems include scale, snails, slugs. Spider mites may appear.
For tropical and subtropical climates, michelia is a beautiful flowering evergreen tree or shrub for lawns, foundations, shrub borders or woodland peripheries. It may be grown as a tall informal hedge. Where not winter hardy, plants may be grown in containers that must be overwintered indoors in a sun room or greenhouse.