Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Sweet Fragrance of Juicy Fruit!

Imagine my surprise the other day when my oldest daughter, Rhonda, came and told me to come see the blooms on my Banana shrub (michelia figo.) I thought these only bloomed in the spring! For whatever reason, my particular plant has several blooms in early November this year and I sure appreciate them. I've said this before in long past posts, but banana shrub has one of the most unique and wonderful fragrances of any bloom on the planet. It smells just like Juicy Fruit gum to my nose. It's also such a beautiful plant - evergreen, glossy leaves on an upright and full plant. They like partial shade and acid soil, similar to azaleas. I don't think they are particularly hardy, so don't try them above zone 8 or possibly zone 7. Not a well-known plant but certainly one very worthy of being grown by Southern gardeners. They were far more popular in by-gone years and are considered an heirloom.

1 comment:

Nell Jean said...

They're well known in South Georgia, and the biggest trees of michelia I ever saw were at Jones Lab, the former Woodruff plantation in Baker County.

The first time I heard of banana shrub, the fellow telling me about it said, "It'll make you want to eat a banana sandwich!"