The Joy Tree
Michelia alba, the Joy Tree
The name of the tree stems for its use in Joy perfume, one of the most expensive produced. Both the orange Champak and white Joy trees grow alike, although the orange form grows a bit faster than the white. Both trees enjoy a good sunny spot in the garden, with rich soil, ample water, regular fertilizing, iron supplements and plenty of mulch. The results are worth the effort ! The flowers produced are fragrant on a level most people don't know or have ever experienced. This is an excellent candidate for planting where the prevailing wind can go through the tree and waft the fragrance toward the house.
|habit of Michelia tree|
The trees are often available at plant sales and shows, especially if you are lucky enough to be near a sale from the Miami-based Tropical Flowering Tree Society. On the southwest coast of the state, such trees are seen more and more often, a real boon, given the balmy and protective climate offered in Naples and the coastal areas. This is a tree that deserves more merit as an urban planting. In protected areas, it could serve an interesting purpose: fragrance in an urban landscape. As a collector's tree, it grows well and is well-behaved, not growing too fast or with brittle branches or messy seed pods. I hope you have the pleasure of experiencing one of these trees soon, for it will change your mind about what people plant in their own gardens.