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MICHELIA figo

Image of Michelia figo

Felder Rushing

Family

Magnoliaceae

Botanical Name

MICHELIA figo

Plant Common Name

Banana Shrub

General Description

Banana shrub is a broadleaf evergreen with lovely, fragrant springtime flowers. The foliage itself is reason enough to grow this shrub. The new leaves of this China native are soft, fuzzy and brown, then mature to an attractive green. From mid-spring until early summer, cup-shaped, tan flowers with maroon edges bloom, releasing a banana-like scent. The fragrance is most intense on warm, windless days. Flowering can recur sporadically in summer.

Plant banana shrub in a rich, acidic soil that is moist but well-drained. Although it tolerates full sun, some shade is preferred. Established plants have good tolerance of drought and heat, but in general, this shrub is not suited for subtropical or tropical gardens. It also is tolerant of pruning, but is most attractive if allowed to attain its natural, upright leafy form. Banana shrub is great as an accent near a shaded patio or walkway, in a mixed border or as part of the woodland garden. The cultivar Wine' has flowers with a burgundy cast.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    10 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    6'-20' / 1.8m - 6.1m (12)

  • Width

    5'-12' / 1.5m - 3.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Spring, Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Tan, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Sienna, Bronze

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Olive

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Chocolate

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No