Dulichapa or Wild magnolia, Magnolia pterocarpa

Dulichapa or Wild magnolia (Magnolia pterocarpa, family: Magnoliaceae) is an only wild Magnolia of Bangladesh, found in the hilly forests of greater Sylhet and Chattogram and Chattogram Hill Tracts. Outside the country the leafy tree can be found in the North-eastern part of Indian subcontinent and Myanmar. The large evergreen tree can get a height of 15-25 m with a nice rounded canopy. Bark is grey. Young parts are covered with yellowish-brown soft hairs. 

Other names: Anda chapa (Bang), Nag champaka (Sans).

Leaves are large, pale green, 20-40 cm long and 6-10 cm wide, obovate-oblong, coriaceous, mature leaves are glabrous, tip pointed or blunted, petiole, 3-5 cm long, veins 12-18.

Flowers are terminal, big, showy, white, scented like most other members of the family; 5-8 cm across, bisexual. Pedicel is thick, 5 cm across and 5 cm long. Petals 6, thick. Sepals 3, outside greenish, inside white. These are caducous, turn brown before falling off the flowers. Flower-buds are beautiful, rounded-shaped, appear with the new leaves. Flowering season is summer (Apr-May).

Fruits are in spike inflorescence, 12-18 cm long and 4-7 cm wide. Fruitlets are long-beaked. Seeds 2, orange-colored. The propagation of the plant is caused by seeds. In some cases it can also be done with cuttings.

The density of its huge leaves, the ability to give shade, the milky fragrant flowers--it has all the qualities of an ornamental tree. Beside this, as the only indigenous Magnolia in Bangladesh, it should be widely planted in botanical gardens, parks, amateur gardens and beside roads of the country. It is also a useful plant too. Packing boxes can be made from its wood.

Synonyms: Lirianthe grandiflora, Lirianthe pterocarpa, Liriodendron grandiflorum, Liriodendron indicum, Magnolia sphenocarpa, Michelia macrophylla, Sphenocarpus pterocarpus, Talauma roxburghii.


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