Description from Flora of China
Champaca Adanson; Elmerrillia Dandy; Liriopsis Spach (1839), not Reichenbach (1828-1829); Paramichelia Hu; Sampacca Kuntze; Tsoongiodendron Chun.
Trees or shrubs, evergreen. Stipules hooded, 2-valved, membranous, adnate to or free from petiole, annular scar persistent on petiole or twig. Leaves spirally arranged; leaf blade leathery, margin entire. Young leaves erect or folded in buds. Flowers pseudoaxillary on a brachyblast, solitary or rarely 1 flower bud surrounding 2 or 3 flower buds on different nodes and forming a 2- or 3-flowered thyrse, bisexual, usually fragrant; bud surrounded by 2-4 deciduous spathaceous bracts. Peduncle with annular bract-scar but if bracts adnate to petiole then petiole with bract-scar. Tepals 6-21, 3 or 6 per whorl, subequal or rarely much smaller than outer whorl. Stamens numerous; filaments short or long; connective elongated, exserted and forming a long or short tip, rarely not exserted; anthers dehiscing laterally or nearly laterally. Gynoecium with or without a gynophore; carpels few or numerous, usually partly undeveloped, without abaxial longitudinal furrow, adaxial base inserted on rachis, apical part often distinct or rarely coherent; ovules 2 to several per carpel. Fruit usually terete when mature, often curved because of partly abortive carpels; mature carpels leathery or woody, completely persistent on fruiting axis, sessile or shortly stalked, dehiscing into 2 valves along dorsal sutures or along both dorsal and ventral sutures, sometimes fruit fleshy and tardily and irregularly dehiscent, or a woody syncarp, upper parts of carpels falling away while also dehiscing along dorsal suture, basal parts remaining attached to torus with their suspended seeds. Seeds 2 to several per carpel, red or brown.
Michelia fadouensis D. X. Li & Y. W. Law, M. fugongensis D. X. Li & Y. W. Law, M. gigantea D. X. Li & R. Z. Zhou, M. gushanensis D. X. Li & Y. W. Law, M. pingbianica R. Z. Zhou & Q. W. Zeng, and M. virensipetala Y. W. Law & R. Z. Zhou (in Y. H. Liu, Magnolias China, 248, 259, 266, 272, 304, 322. 2004) are of uncertain identity and are probably the same as already published Michelia species but were not validly published because no Latin descriptions or diagnoses were provided and no types were indicated (Vienna Code, Art. 36.1 and 37.1).
About 70 species: tropical and subtropical Asia; 39 or 37 species including one or two hybrid species (20 or 18 endemic, one introduced) in China.