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Zones 6, 9, 14-29, 31, H1, H2
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Michelia figo

Banana Shrub
Evergreen, Shrubs, Trees


Magnolia relatives native to China and the Himalayas. When in flower, these might be mistaken for some kind of magnolia—but unlike magnolias, they bear their blossoms among the leaves rather than singly at branch ends.

All species are attractive, with lush foliage and profuse, fragrant blossoms divided into petal-like segments.

Michelia figo

China. Slow growing to 6–8 ft. high (possibly to 15 ft. tall) and about two-thirds as wide. Densely clothed with glossy, leathery, 3-in. leaves. Plant blooms most heavily in spring but produces scattered flowers throughout summer. Blossoms are 1–1½ in.wide, creamy yellow with a thin brownish purple border on each segment. Notable feature is the powerful, fruity fragrance, like that of ripe bananas; the perfume is strongest in a warm, windless spot. Choice plant for entry or patio.

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