The panorama on the sunrise side: an awesome view of Malarayat

The quiet panorama on the sunrise side of the farm: an awesome view of Mount Malaráyat and the river below the gap.

13 September 2011

Two Flowering Trees

Fragrant trees, now heavy with blooms are Champáca (Michelia alba, above) and Ylang-ýlang (Cananga odorata, below). Both tropical trees are not stunning to look at but compensate by being the most pleasantly-perfumed. Folks traditionally plant these trees near gates or windows for an even more sensory appreciation of a garden or a home.

Champaca belongs to the Magnolia family, and there are several flower color variants. I have always heard of the name but it wasn't until I started in Lipa that I actually learned how it looks and smells.

Meantime, Ylang-ylang is a native tree with drooping branches and leaves, and can grow to four- or even five-storeys high. In my Mandalúyong house, I'm fortunate to have a neighbor with a full-grown tree which scent we can smell until our property. Sometimes, when ours in Lipa have no blooms, we knock on our city neighbor and ask for flowers to scent our interiors.

The ylang-ylang tree and its flowers are not very photogenic and quite hard to capture clearly. Below is a botanical print by Fr Blanco from Flora de Filipinas.

from Wikimedia Commons


  1. I just love the fragrance of the flowers of these two trees. That's why when I started my garden project these two are in my list of "must have" plants.