16. Magnolia hodgsonii (J.D. Hooker & Thomson) H. Keng

This large magnolia is native from Central Nepal to Northern Burma eastwards to Thailand and Yunnan. Its name commemorates Brian Hodgson, a nineteenth-century naturalist and scholar of Buddhism (another plant named for him, Rhododendron hodgsonii, can be seen as Number 45 of the Trail). In Nepal the wood of this tree is used for making the handles of kukris (knives used by the Gurkhas), and in India for tea boxes, toys, cheap musical instruments and for the backs of furniture.

Hand coloured lithograph by W.H. Fitch, after anonymous Indian watercolour, from J.D. Hooker’s Illustrations of Himalayan Plants (1855)

     

     

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