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The Jampee tree - Magnoliaceae Michelia
The Jampee tree is small to medium-sized (15-14 feet high). It can be cultivated as a garden plant. The flowers are long and narrow, white in color, and strongly fragrant. They are used as religious offerings or in garlands.
The sweet, pungent, alluring fragrance makes them an ideal ingredient for perfumes. A single blossom or a packet can be bought from street sellers or at a flower market. Young Thai women can often be seen carrying a blossom in their hand to sniff while strolling, sitting with friends, or wearing as a temporary string necklace.
Its botanical name is Magnoliaceae Michelia Alba DC. Michelia is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Magnolia family (Magnoliaceae). The genus includes about 50 species of evergreen trees and shrubs, native to tropical and subtropical south and southeast Asia (Indomalaya), including southern China.
The Magnoliaceae are an ancient family; fossil plants identifiably belonging to the Magnoliaceae date back 95 million years. A primitive aspect of the Magnolia family is that their large, cup-shaped flowers lack distinct petals or sepals. The large non-specialized flower parts, resembling petals, are called tepals.
The leaves, flowers, and form of Michelia resemble Magnolia, but the blossoms of Michelia generally form clusters among the leaves, rather than singly at the branch ends as Magnolia does.
Several of the larger species are locally important sources of timber. Some species, including the Champak (Michelia champaca) and M. doltsopa are grown for their flowers, both on the tree and as cut flowers. Champak flowers are also used to produce an essential oil for perfume. A few species have been introduced to gardens or as street trees outside of the Indomalaya region, including Michelia figo, M. doltsopa, and M. champaca. The genus is named after the Florentine botanist Pietro Antonio Micheli (1679–1737).