Have I said how much of a sucker I am for a fragrant plant? This is one of those plants that I had to get because of the smell. It's real name is michelia figo, but it's better known as banana shrub or magnolia fuscata. The nondescript flower exudes one of my all-time favorite scents. To me, it smells like Juicy Fruit gum. There is no way I would be without this shrub in my yard. It is an old Southern favorite that is not seen as much these days, though I can't imagine why.
Michelia figo is an evergreen, tropical looking shrub that gets about 15' tall. It prefers a partially shaded area and acid soil - pretty much the same conditions as azaleas. Makes a nice understory plant under a large tree. It can be grown from zone 7B and southward.