Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Subtle Fragrance of Bananas

In the typical gardener position (i.e. crawling around in the dirt), weeding, looking, poking about - a breeze brought to me a subtle hint of bananas.  Appears that my Banana Shrub (Michelia figo) has started opening its blossoms.

Years back, when more sunshine reached my backyard (the oaks have grown since then), I planted this shrubby bush.  While likely not as full as one grown in sunshine, it has filled in its spot in the garden and now stands about eight foot tall.  Its ligustrum-like leaves are not showy, but they are evergreen.  And while the blossoms are not eye-catching, whenever you are working nearby, you'll catch a sweet banana fragrance.

Each individual bloom tends to fade after a few days, but the shrub tends to have a fair number of them.  For the rest of this month, I'll likely be able to enjoy the scent.


  1. Interestingly, the "alarm" scent that honey bees give off is supposed to smell like bananas.

    Hello from Northern California, by way of Blotanical.

  2. How long ago did you plant it? Mine was in a 1-gallon pot, planted in 2005. It would be thrilling to see it get 8-feet tall, RBell!

    There's something in the scent of my Michelia that makes me crave... not real bananas... but a kind of artificially banana-flavored taffy from childhood.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  3. Lisa/Robb: That is interesting; come to think of it, I've never seen any bees on the blossoms

    Annie: The actual planting date has long been lost to my foggy recollection, but I'm sure it was more than 5 years ago, but less than 10.