Shrub to small tree with a brownish velvety covering on the young leaves and flower buds. Leaves variable in shape and size. Leaf stalk 5-7 mm long. Flower segments mostly 6-12, each 2-3.5 cm long, yellowish white, scent poor; late winter to early spring. Carpels projecting beyond the stamens on a common stalk 5-9 mm long.
Compact plants are promoted under the name Scented Pearl.
Flowers and leaves used as spices.
Flower buds with a pronounced velvety rust-coloured hair, also on the lower leaf surface.
Specimens?NSW: Mt Tomah Bot. Gdn.
Source: (1997). Magnoliaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 2. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 1. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press. (as Michelia yunnanensis)