Michelia is a timber producing tree and the fine grain wood is used for the construction of buildings, furniture, toys, and carvings.
The wood is also utilized in the production of packing cases, crates, tea chests and as plywood. The wood is strong and moderately durable. Perfume is produced from the essential oils extracted from the fragrant flowers and the flowers are often worn as an adornment strung in leis or in the hair. The bark is also aromatic and is often found as an adulterant in cinnamon.
Michelia champaca is sacred to Hindus and Buddhists and it is often planted in temple grounds and around homes. Bead chains are made from the wood. Michelia is found in sacred groves in the state of Tamil Nadu in southwestern India. These sacred groves are maintained by Malayali and Paliyani tribal communities. Scared groves are fragments of vegetation within an otherwise agricultural landscape that have been maintained with their native plants for their recognized significance to one or many deities and for the connection of the communities to both the diety and nature. Small shrines are maintained within the groves. The larger sacred groves may provide refugia for native organisms, including plants and animals.
(Hossain, M.K. and M.Z.U. Nizam. 2005. Michelia champaca L. in Vozzo, J. A. (ed.), Tropical Tree Seed Manual. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service. 572-575.)
(Neal, M.C. 1965. In Gardens of Hawai‘i. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, HI.)
(Staples, G. W. and D. R. Herbst. 2005. A Tropical Garden Flora: Plants cultivated in the Hawaiian Islands and other tropical places. Bishop Museum Press, Honolulu, Hawai’i.)
(Thomas, D.W., E.D.I. King, J. Soundrapandi, and D. Narasimhan. Evolution of livelihood strategies among geographically isolated hill tribes of south India.)