Magnolia platypetala (Hand.-Mazz.) C.B. Callaghan & S.K. Png, C. B. Callaghan & S. K. Png, 2020

Callaghan, Christopher B. & Png, Siak K., 2020, Twenty-six additional new combinations in the Magnolia (Magnoliaceae) of China and Vietnam, PhytoKeys 146, pp. 1-35: 1

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Magnolia platypetala (Hand.-Mazz.) C.B. Callaghan & S.K. Png

comb. nov.

Magnolia platypetala (Hand.-Mazz.) C.B. Callaghan & S.K. Png   comb. nov.


Michelia platypetala   Hand.-Mazz. In: Handel-Mazzetti, Anz. Akad. Wiss. Wien, Math.-Naturwiss. Kl. 58(12): 89 (1921).

Chinese name.

阔瓣含笑 meaning "broad-petalled (tepalled) michelia"


CHINA. Hunan Province: Yunshan, near Wukang-chow (= Wugang), ca. 950 m, lofty shady forests, April 1919, Wang Te-Hui (De-Hui Wang) 12281 (p.p. quoad flowering material only, in Handel-Mazzetti, 1921) (holotype: W (possibly destroyed in WWII); isotypes: A online image!, K online image!, SYS!, WU online image!).

Digital images of isotype specimens below accessed 19 March 2019:

isotype [A: 00039059]:

isotype [K: K000681459]:

isotype [ WU: 0039591]:

Michelia cavaleriei   Finet & Gagnep. In: Chen and Nooteboom (1993: 1058), Frodin and Govaerts (1996: 55), Wu and Chen (2006: 56), each p.p. quoad syn. Michelia platypetala   Hand.-Mazz.

Magnolia maudiae var. platypetala   (Hand.-Mazz.) Sima (2001: 33).

Magnolia cavaleriei var. platypetala   (Hand.-Mazz.) Noot. In: Xia et al. (2008: 49).

Michelia cavaleriei var. platypetala   (Hand.-Mazz.) N. H. Xia. In: Xia et al. (2008: 85).

Note 1.

Dandy (1928c: 130) provides relevant background information concerning the type collections of Michelia platypetala   and M. fallax   from the same general locality in Hunan Province in consecutive years and how they were both initially confused as the former species.

Note 2.

As recorded in the synonymy section preceding Note 1, Michelia platypetala   is noted as a synonym of M. cavaleriei   and has been made a variety of both Magnolia maudiae   and Michelia cavaleriei   , the 2001 and 2008 publications with a noted elevational range of 1200-1500 m despite Handel-Mazzetti’s type collection being made at ca. 950 metres. However, M. platypetala   retains its species status in Law et al. (1996: 177), Liu et al. (2004: 306), Sima (2011: 219), Deng and Yang (2015: 144) and Yang et al. (2016: 306).

Note 3.

Grimshaw and Bayton (2009: 500) record a personal communication received from Richard Figlar in 2007 advising that "this taxon ( Magnolia maudiae var. platypetala   ) probably ought to be recognised at the specific level, as Magnolia platypetala   , as it differs considerably from M. maudiae   both in its hairiness and its later bud-break". Sima (2011: 327), illustrates the contrasting difference between the indumentum of the undersurfaces of the leaves of M. platypetala   (Plate 3-4H) and that of the leaves of M. maudiae   (Plate 3-4C). Additionally, in a study by Zhang and Xia (2007) on leaf architecture and its taxonomic significance in respect of subtribe Micheliinae   of Magnoliaceae  , the pronounced contrast in the leaves of Michelia platypetala   and M. cavaleriei   as revealed by stereoscopic magnified imaging (shown at figs. 36 and 37 in their paper), resulted in these authors concluding that these two taxa should be recognised as independent species". It is apparent that there is now an almost unanimous consensus of the species status of Michelia platypetala   , which is confirmed by the comparison of its morphological features with those of M. cavaleriei   compiled in Table 5 View Table 5 below. In view of its distinctive characteristics and accepting the majority recognition by the above-mentioned Chinese authors of Michelia platypetala   as a genuine species, it is here transferred to Magnolia   as a consequence of the past reduction of the remaining genera of subfamily Magnolioideae  to the genus Magnolia   .