Banana Magnolia, Banana Shrub

Magnolia figo, Michelia figo, Magnolia fuscata, Magnolia annonifolia, Liriodendron figo

Magnoliaceae

Banana Magnolia, Banana Shrub
Banana Magnolia, Banana Shrub
Banana Magnolia, Banana Shrub
Banana Magnolia, Banana Shrub
Banana Magnolia, Banana Shrub
Banana Magnolia, Banana Shrub
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 overwinter indoors under high light and preferably with direct sunlight. Item # 314.

Hardened off plants in the ground can easily take temperatures into the single digits for short periods with no apparent damage. Container grown plants should be protected if temperatures fall below freezing for any extended period of time as the soil may freeze and thus may damage the roots. Plan to do any general pruning immediately after flowering has finished as bud formation is produced on this spring's and early summer's growth. The cone-shaped, brown fuzzy buds are often large enough to be noticeable by fall when they are perched in the leaf axils along the dark stems awaiting the warmth of spring days to open.

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 conditions the Banana Magnolia has few pest or disease problems.

For more on information on and growing the Banana Magnolia, or Magnolia figo, watch Dan Gill on LSU Agcenter's "Get it Growing" by clicking here or the "More info from Universities,..." link to the left. 
For more on how to espalier Banana Magnolias and other plants from the Mississippi State Extension Service click here.


Grows To: 10-15'H x 8-12'W up to 20'H x 15'W

USDA Cold Hardiness Zones: 7B,8,9,10,(7A?)

click here to find your USDA Cold Hardiness zone

Outdoor Light: Full sun, Part sun, Part shade

pH Range: Acidic, Mildly Acidic, Neutral

Soil & Moisture: Average moist to moist, well-draining, humus-rich, moderately fertile soils. Never soggy wet.

Deer Resistance: Rarely Bothered

Native To / Origin: China

See our Planting A New Plant, How To, and General Growing Guide for basic planting, potting, and watering instructions

Container Size: 3.5 inch / 16 fl.oz. / 473 ml

Price: $ 11.99
Catalog ID# 314
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Incense Passionflower, Passionvine
The deep purple 3-4", richly fragrant exotic looking flowers are produced throughout the growing season on this vigorous Passionvine with medium green foliage. Incense is considered to be one of the hardiest passionvines for US gardens along with the native Maypop Passionvine, Passiflora incarnata, one of its parents, and the US native Yellow Passionvine, Passiflora lutea. In our experience Incense rarely produces fruit on its own and some sources suggest that hand pollination is required. Like the native Maypop Passionflower, Incense readily spreads by rhizomes. A caterpillar host for the Gulf Fritillary, Zebra Longwing, and other Heliconian butterflies Item # 464. Price: US$12.99

Description & growing info

 
The deep purple 3-4", richly fragrant exotic looking flowers are produced throughout the growing season on this vigorous Passionvine with medium green foliage. Incense is considered to be one of the hardiest passionvines for US gardens along with the native Maypop Passionvine, Passiflora incarnata, one of its parents, and the US native Yellow Passionvine, Passiflora lutea. In our experience Incense rarely produces fruit on its own and some sources suggest that hand pollination is required. Like the native Maypop Passionflower, Incense readily spreads by rhizomes. A caterpillar host for the Gulf Fritillary, Zebra Longwing, and other Heliconian butterflies Item # 464.
Price: US$12.99

Description & growing info

 
Sambac Jasmine, Arabian Jasmine, Mogra, Sampaguita, Pikake, Hawaiian Peacock Jasmine
Strongly fragrant 1" white star-like blooms in clusters of 3-12 are produced on new growth from spring to fall. The fragrant white waxy flower petals are used to flavor Jasmine tea and Jasmine rice. An evergreen twining climber or arching shrub growing to 8' high if left to its own devices but it can certainly be pruned to keep it in bounds. Grow it as a container plant, as a hedge, an espalier or even as a small tree form. Item# 633. Price: US$12.99

Description & growing info

 
Strongly fragrant 1" white star-like blooms in clusters of 3-12 are produced on new growth from spring to fall. The fragrant white waxy flower petals are used to flavor Jasmine tea and Jasmine rice. An evergreen twining climber or arching shrub growing to 8' high if left to its own devices but it can certainly be pruned to keep it in bounds. Grow it as a container plant, as a hedge, an espalier or even as a small tree form. Item# 633.
Price: US$12.99

Description & growing info

 
Black Mission Fig, Beers Black Fig, Franciscan Fig
The sweet dark figs of Mission are the number one favorite for drying. Mission is one of the most widely grown figs in California producing heavy crops of medium to large dark purplish-black pear-shaped fruit with a rich, sweet strawberry red pulp. Good fresh or preserved. Black Mission is self-pollinating and may produce a light breba crop. A good choice for the South as well. The small eye makes it resistant to spoiling. Item # 832.


Price: US$14.99

Description & growing info

 
The sweet dark figs of Mission are the number one favorite for drying. Mission is one of the most widely grown figs in California producing heavy crops of medium to large dark purplish-black pear-shaped fruit with a rich, sweet strawberry red pulp. Good fresh or preserved. Black Mission is self-pollinating and may produce a light breba crop. A good choice for the South as well. The small eye makes it resistant to spoiling. Item # 832.


Price: US$14.99

Description & growing info

 
Pineapple Guava
A no-care evergreen shrub with silvery-green foliage and producing 1.5" lavender blooms with a large prominent boss of purplish-red stamens. The edible flowers are often followed by the tropical flavored guava-like fruit. For the best fruit production plant at least two different varieties or seedlings. Ours are grown from seed. Item# 1207. Price: US$14.99

Description & growing info

 
A no-care evergreen shrub with silvery-green foliage and producing 1.5" lavender blooms with a large prominent boss of purplish-red stamens. The edible flowers are often followed by the tropical flavored guava-like fruit. For the best fruit production plant at least two different varieties or seedlings. Ours are grown from seed. Item# 1207.
Price: US$14.99

Description & growing info

 
Fodingzhu Sweet Olive, Nanjing Beauty Sweet Olive
View The profuse blooming habit and sweetly fragrant white flowers makes this rarely-found selection of Tea Olive very appealing. Flowers are borne almost continuously from fall to spring. Flowers of the Sweet Olive are used in Asian dishes to impart their fragrance into food and teas. An easy and problem free, long-lived, large evergreen shrub. Item# 9019. Price: US$14.99

Description & growing info

 
The profuse blooming habit and sweetly fragrant white flowers makes this rarely-found selection of Tea Olive very appealing. Flowers are borne almost continuously from fall to spring. Flowers of the Sweet Olive are used in Asian dishes to impart their fragrance into food and teas. An easy and problem free, long-lived, large evergreen shrub. Item# 9019.
Price: US$14.99

Description & growing info

Butterfly Nectar Sources

 
Coral Porterweed
1/2" salmon pink blooms adorn the long spike-like bloom stems from spring to frost. The flowers are filled with nectar from before dusk until nearly dark making this a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds alike! Coral Porterweed is a vigorous grower making it a good choice for the back of the border. It is also known as  Pink Porterweed, Orange Porterweed, Pink Snakeweed. Item# 372. Price: US$8.99

Description & growing info

 
1/2" salmon pink blooms adorn the long spike-like bloom stems from spring to frost. The flowers are filled with nectar from before dusk until nearly dark making this a favorite of butterflies and hummingbirds alike! Coral Porterweed is a vigorous grower making it a good choice for the back of the border. It is also known as  Pink Porterweed, Orange Porterweed, Pink Snakeweed. Item# 372.
 
Lavender Porterweed
Nectar-rich, light purple flowers are produced continuously from spring to fall on tall spikes that butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds cannot seem to resist! Lavender Porterweed is a medium to large growing exceptionally full and vigorous Porterweed was once considered to be a purple form of the highly popular Coral Porterweed although we have learned that this is a sterile or nearly sterile hybrid cultivar. Porterweeds are excellent nectar producers outperforming nearly all other butterfly plants in the garden. Item# 483 Price: US$8.99

Description & growing info

 
Nectar-rich, light purple flowers are produced continuously from spring to fall on tall spikes that butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds cannot seem to resist! Lavender Porterweed is a medium to large growing exceptionally full and vigorous Porterweed was once considered to be a purple form of the highly popular Coral Porterweed although we have learned that this is a sterile or nearly sterile hybrid cultivar. Porterweeds are excellent nectar producers outperforming nearly all other butterfly plants in the garden. Item# 483
 
White Profusion Butterfly Bush
White, fragrant bloom spikes reaching 16", are held against the green, velvety foliage. Attracts scads of butterflies. Considered by many to be the best white butterfly bush. Item # 735. Price: US$9.99

Description & growing info

 
White, fragrant bloom spikes reaching 16", are held against the green, velvety foliage. Attracts scads of butterflies. Considered by many to be the best white butterfly bush. Item # 735.
 
Silver Spires White Vitex, Chaste Tree
View

An unusually pure white selection of Vitex. Silver Spires produces medium sized spikes of white flowers that are held against the dark blue-green fragrant foliage. Vitex is a vigorous, disease and deer resistant, drought and salt tolerant large spreading to upright deciduous shrub or small tree. Excellent for Butterflies, Bees, and Hummingbirds. Silver Spires was the top rated white flowered Vitex in trials at Longwood Gardens. Item# 739.

Price: US$12.99

Description & growing info

 

An unusually pure white selection of Vitex. Silver Spires produces medium sized spikes of white flowers that are held against the dark blue-green fragrant foliage. Vitex is a vigorous, disease and deer resistant, drought and salt tolerant large spreading to upright deciduous shrub or small tree. Excellent for Butterflies, Bees, and Hummingbirds. Silver Spires was the top rated white flowered Vitex in trials at Longwood Gardens. Item# 739.

Price: US$12.99

Description & growing info

 
Lace-Leaf Vitex, Cut-Leaf Vitex
View Beautifully cut medium green deeply cut lacy foliage that is reminiscent of the delicately cut foliage of some Japanese Maples adorns this vigorous 'Chaste Tree'. 6-8" spikes of lavender-pink flowers that attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees are borne in summer. The Lace-Leaf Vitex is considered by many to be the most hardy of the Chaste Trees.  Item# 787. Price: US$9.99

Description & growing info

 
Beautifully cut medium green deeply cut lacy foliage that is reminiscent of the delicately cut foliage of some Japanese Maples adorns this vigorous 'Chaste Tree'. 6-8" spikes of lavender-pink flowers that attract butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees are borne in summer. The Lace-Leaf Vitex is considered by many to be the most hardy of the Chaste Trees.  Item# 787.