Aglaia Odorata 米兰树
Aglaia Odorata is a fragrant flowering evergreen tree that blooms many times a year with a wonderful fruity scent, the single main trunk tree can reach maximum 5-10 metres in height in the wild but domestic growth normally stays below 5 metres tall. Aglaia Odorata tree has many interesting features, including:
1. Pleasant fruity fragrance that resembles sweet citrus smell, the fragrance becomes more intense with strong sunshine such as at noon or afternoon times, while is less obvious without sunshine, e.g. in the early morning. The perfume of a blooming 1 metre tall tree can spread several metres around. The dried flowers can be used to scent teas.
2. In Sydney Australia, Aglaia Odorata trees flower from spring to early winter (from Oct. to June), each round of blooming lasts about 3 weeks followed by similar period of new buds growing time then another blooming. The tiny rice-sized ball-shaped flowers do not open during blooming: they change colours from green to yellow then gradually wilt away in brown with the entire panicle eventually drying out and falling off the trunk. Bright yellow colour indicates the high blooming time with most intense fragrance, set against dense verdant green leaves forming a lovely vivid scenery.
3. Aglaia Odorata tree blooms quickly: small sapling as short as 5cm can start flowering so any purchased small tree will definitely bloom within a few months or weeks or even straight away, depending on the season and maturity.
4. Aglaia Odorata tree is a slow grower: young trees can grow a few dozen centimetre in height per year, larger trees will grow more slowly. Aglaia Odorata tree can live hundreds of years in life span. It can be grown in ground and in pot, outdoor or indoor, or as a bonsai: .
Three oldest Aglaia Odorata trees planted by scholars in the year 1546 AD in Zhaoqing, Guangdong, China have been known for surviving 475 years and are still blooming regularly:
5. Aglaia Odorata trees seldom come under insect pest attack, its leaves & twigs are said to have natural pesticidal effects. Furthermore the flowers, leaves, branches and roots all have some medical effects.
6. Aglaia Odorata tree rarely shed its leaves, even matured trees do not have many falling leaves, leaving a clean space around the tree.
7. Aglaia Odorata trees respond well to pruning, therefore can be planted in pots, used as edges, cultivated as bonsai etc.
8. Only Aglaia Odorata species of round-leave tips have strong fragrance, while species with pointed leave shapes show very weak fragrance & do not bloom as much:
9. The seeds of Aglaia Odorata trees are rarely seen, they appear initially in green then gradually turn into yellow then red & dark red when ripe:
Aglaia Odorata tree has many other names, inc. Chinese Perfume Plant, Chinese Perfume Tree, Chinese Rice Flower, Mock Lemon, Mock Lime, etc. Its Chinese names include 米兰，米籽兰，树兰, 四季米兰, 碎米兰. It has been found in China and many other Asian countries, now is normally cultivated as house plant for its fragrant flowers, lovely evergreen leaves and easily adaptable shapes. It is also easy to grow without much fuss, here in Sydney Australia it grows well in ground or in pot.
A 3-Metre tall 8-year old Aglaia Odorata tree, somewhere in southern China: