Magnolia fallax (Dandy) 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 fallax (Dandy) C.B. Callaghan & S.K. Png

comb. nov.

Magnolia fallax (Dandy) C.B. Callaghan & S.K. Png comb. nov.


Michelia fallax Dandy. In: Notes, Roy. Bot. Gard. Edinburgh 16(77): 130 (1928c).

Chinese names: 灰绒含笑 meaning "grey-velvet michelia", referring to the grey indumentum covering branchlets, buds, etc. Also: 大叶含笑 meaning "large-leaved michelia"


CHINA. Hunan Province: near Wukang-chow (=Wugang), Yunshan, ca. 950 m, in lofty shady forests, 12 July 1918, Handel-Mazzetti 12281 p.p. quoad fruiting specimen (holotype: WU online image!; isotypes: A online image!, K online image!).

Digital images of holotype and isotype specimens below accessed 19 March 2019:

holotype [WU: 0039581]:

isotype [A: 00039058]:

isotype [K: K000681458]:

Michelia cavaleriei Finet & Gagnep. In: Chen and Nooteboom (1993: 1058), Frodin and Govaerts (1996: 55), Wu and Chen (2006: 56), Sima and Lu (2009: 50), Sima (2011: 214), Deng and Yang (2015: 148), each p.p. quoad syn. Michelia fallax Dandy.

Michelia cavaleriei Finet & Gagnep. var. cavaleriei . In: Xia et al. (2008: 84), p.p. quoad syn. Michelia fallax Dandy.

Note 1.

James E. Dandy (1928c: 130), provides background information concerning the division of the fruiting and flowering collections made under number 12281 by Handel-Mazzetti on 12 July 1918 and by his servant Wang Te-hui in April 1919 respectively. From his study of these collections, Dandy came to the realisation that they represented two distinct species, retaining Handel-Mazzetti’s name Michelia platypetala for Wang’s flowering material and publishing the name Michelia fallax for Handel-Mazzetti’s fruiting material.

Note 2.

An undated identification label in the name of J.E. Dandy, affixed to the Kew Herbarium isotype specimen of M. fallax , indicates his subsequent determination of it as M. cavaleriei Finet & Gagnep. This specimen and the other above seen type specimens are all ca. 20 cm in length and 6 cm wide, roughly only about two-thirds of Dandy’s original description of the leaves of M. fallax being "usque ad ca. 30 cm longa et 8.5 cm lata" (up to about 30 cm long and 8.5 cm wide). Dandy’s dimensions are not a misprint, since there are a number of M. fallax specimens of different provenances (and provinces) posted to the Chinese Virtual Herbarium (CVH) website with leaves approaching this size, which is alluded to in one of this species two Chinese names translating as "large-leaved michelia". The above noted dimensions must be presumed to be those of the other specimen noted in Dandy’s description, the undated specimen Dalziel s.n., collected at about 900 m near Thai-yong, 97 km west of Swatow (Shantou) on Guangdong’s northeastern coast, sometime between 1895 and 1902 (this specimen was not located for the current research).

Note 3.

Subsequent to Dandy, M. fallax has been listed as a synonym of M. cavaleriei and of M. cavaleriei var. cavaleriei by the authors cited in the section preceding Note 1. However, the present authors consider that while these two species are superficially similar in the shape of their leaves, that the known comparative features recorded in Table 2 View Table 2 below distinguish Michelia fallax as an independent species. Also, it does not key out with the original validating descriptions for Michelia hunanensis or M. xinningia with which it shares synonymy under M. cavaleriei var. cavaleriei in Flora of China. Therefore, consistent with the past reduction to Magnolia of the remaining segregate genera of subfamily Magnolioideae , Michelia fallax is here transferred to Magnolia .