Description from Flora of China
Magnolia balansae Aug. Candolle, Bull. Herb. Boissier, sér. 2, 4: 294. 1904; Michelia balansae var. appressipubescens Y. W. Law; M. balansae var. brevipes B. L. Chen; M. baviensis Finet & Gagnepain; M. tonkinensis A. Chevalier.
Trees, 7-10 m tall, to 60 cm d.b.h. Bark gray to grayish brown, smooth. Young twigs, buds, petioles, leaf blade abaxial surfaces, flower buds, and brachyblasts densely brown tomentose or with appressed fine trichomes. Petiole 1.5-4 cm, without a stipular scar, base flattened; leaf blade oblong-elliptic to obovate-elliptic, 10-20(-28) × 5-10(-12) cm, abaxially veins evidently prominent and brown tomentose, adaxially subglabrous, secondary veins 12-15 on each side of midvein with ends arching upward and becoming reticulate, base broadly cuneate, apex abruptly acute. Flowers fragrant. Tepals 6, white and pale greenish, obovate-elliptic, 3.5-3.7 × 1.3-1.5 cm; innermost tepals oblanceolate, smaller. Stamens 1-1.5 cm; connective exserted and forming a mucro; anthers 8-10 mm. Gynophore 4-6 mm, yellowish brown tomentose; gynoecium ovoid. Fruiting gynophore 4.5-7 cm. Fruit 7-12 cm; mature carpels ellipsoid-ovoid, obovoid, or cylindric, 2-6 × 1.2-1.5 cm, apex with a reflexed 3-5 mm beak. Seeds nearly ellipsoid, 1-1.5 cm, one end or both ends truncate; testa bright red; endotesta brown. Fl. Mar-Jul, fr. Aug-Oct. 2n = 38.
Magnolia balansae and Michelia baviensis were published based on the same gathering (Balansa 3886, but Finet and Gagnepain wrongly cited the number as "3386") from Mt. Bavi, Vietnam.
"Michelia bailina Y. W. Law & R. Z. Zhou" (in Y. H. Liu, Magnolias China, 218. 2004) belongs here but was not validly published because no Latin description or diagnosis was provided and no type was indicated (Vienna Code, Art. 36.1 and 37.1).
This species is used for timber.
Evergreen broad-leaved forests, along rivers; 300-1000 m. S Fujian, S and SW Guangdong, S Guangxi, Guizhou, Hainan, S Yunnan [Vietnam].