May 28, 2019

Banana Shrub, How Sweet The Smell

Some shrubs are somehow taken for granted.  This is one, and I'm ashamed to say so.  It is so pretty, stately, standing alone, and only takes a few limb cuttings to take care of it for another year.

I remember Mama and I sitting on the front porch and she telling me to trim out the center corkscrew limbs that were intertwining each other.  At the time I loved the look of the small tree like shrub.  Oh, to have her back sitting on the porch with me spouting her wisdom from years of experience in gardening. I'd cut away and watch her smile.

Today this shrub is on my mind.  Do you own one?  Talking today about an old favorite in many Southern gardens.

April 2019

Magnolia figo; formally known as Michelia figo and known to most around here as the Banana shrub is drought tolerant.  (thank goodness).  That might explain why and how it is surviving here and thriving, without little help from me.

It is evergreen, which is a plus!  The blooms and flowers are creamy yellow and are edged in purple.  They look like miniature Southern magnolia blooms.  That is the reason for the name change. You can read more about this shrub at the Clemson website here

I can't tell you how fragrant these blooms are.  The bees love them and are constantly swarming around. I can't blame them.  It is a pleasure to just stand there and breathe in the aroma.  Every year I keep saying I'm going to cut a few and bring indoors and every year I forget to do this.

The only trims it gets is to keep it's size and shape

First bloom and it is beautiful!

The birds love this shrub and nest in it yearly!

I wish we could send the sweet smell for all to enjoy!

Beautiful Little Flowers
You may be able to see a fuzzy bud above this bloom and to the right on stem
They are pretty as well

Borrowing this picture from Clemson to show how the buds look

This was in April
The white azaleas have finished blooming
The Banana Shrub takes over with blooms then
Gloria gets to sit there and enjoy the seasons

I'll leave you today with these thoughts: If you want the sweet smell of an evergreen shrub that pretty much can handle anything the Southern weather can dish out then this is one you should own.


  1. What is the aroma like? Bananas?

    1. Hi Tina,
      It really does smell like bananas! It is a sweet smell, but not overpowering.

  2. I misread your post title and thought your wrote "banana SCRUB." I thought you were reviewing a new soap that smelled like bananas and I thought, Oh, that sounds good. LOL

    I've never heard of a banana SHRUB. I love magnolia trees and I am sure I would love this shrub. I don't think I've ever seen one around here.

    1. Hi Kim, Now you've got me wanting a banana scrub! We'll have to make one want we?
      I think this shrub grows in zones 7 to 10.