Banana Magnolia, Banana Shrub extracted from here.
Magnolia figo, Michelia figo, Magnolia fuscata, Magnolia annonifolia, Liriodendron figo
The Banana Magnolia produces a multitude of intoxicatingly fragrant, creamy yellow, cupped, miniature Magnolia flowers that smell like sweet bananas. As children, we would pick a few of the flowers to put in our pockets so that we could enjoy the fragrance of “banana candy”, in the words of Dan Gill, all day. Like the Sweet Olive, the flowers of the Banana Magnolia are small, only about 1″ long or a little longer in this case, and yet their sweet fragrance can easily permeate a large area. Occasionally, and seemingly only rarely, flowers may be followed by small, bumpy, green cones with single-seeded fruit tucked among the scales that ripen to orange. Although, some resources suggest that the seed themselves may not be viable
The Banana Magnolia is an easy to grow, long-lived, heirloom, evergreen shrub with a naturally upright to rounded habit and rich dark green glossy foliage. It can be used as a large specimen shrub, background shrub, hedge, screen, espalier, or is easily trained into a small single or multi-trunked tree. The Banana Magnolia has a moderate rate of growth when young and when grown under good or better conditions. Growth generally slows as they get larger and closer to their mature size of about 10′ high but they may reach 20′ with age. Even young Banana Magnolia plants generally flower well even under average conditions and they can be grown as container plants for many years with proper care. Where not cold hardy
Hardened off plants in the ground can easily take temperatures into the single digits for short periods with no apparent damage.
Banana Magnolias like similar soil conditions to those of Camellias – moist, acidic, well-drained, humus rich, and moderately fertile. Preferably with an organic mulch, like pine straw, maintained beyond the dripline. Grown in more sun they tend to be fuller and denser, shorter plants whereas with more shade they tend to be taller and slightly more open in habit. Some resources suggest midday shade in hot summer climates. Under good
pH Range: Acidic, Mildly Acidic, Neutral
Soil & Moisture: Average moist to moist, well-draining, humus-rich, moderately fertile soils. Never soggy wet.
Native To: China