Previously known as Michelia champaca there are numerous synonyms including
Champaca michelia and Michelia aurantiaca.
There are a number of varieties and hybrids.
A large, evergreen tree often 20 to 30 m high but can be taller.
It can also grow as a shrub.
Young branches, buds and leaves are covered with grey hairs.
The bright, glossy green leaves are alternately arranged.
The petiole is 2 to 4 cm long with small leaf-like stipules at the base that leave scars.
The simple, ovate to elliptic blades are often about 10 cm long but can be up to 25 cm.
The edges are wavy and they are slightly hairy underneath.
Solitary axillary flowers are 5 cm or more across.
There are up to 15 or 20 tepals, 4 cm long by 0.5 cm wide with upward pointing tips.
Tepals are cream, orange, orange-yellow or white.
There are many stamens on the slightly elongated receptacle.
The tissue connecting the anther sacs forms a long tip at the top of the stamen.
Above the stamens are numerous individual, hairy carpels.
The fruit, up to 15 cm long, is an aggregate of up to 20 individual carpels each up to 1.5 cm long.
Immature green, and mature brown follicles have white spots.
Each follicle has 2 to 4 (6) reddish seeds attached to the ovary wall by white threads from
the vascular bundle.