Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Hint Of Banana

While working in the garden, when the breeze blows just so, I'll catch the faintest whiff of fragrance.  It always takes me a moment to determine that the Banana Shrub (Michelia figo) is in bloom again.  Approaching almost ten foot tall with a loose structure, it has several open flowers with many more maturing buds.

The fragrance does not carry far, so it always seems to just tease you with its perfume.  Coming close and actually placing one's nose near the flower will give you a blast of its banana scent.

The blooms are small and rather inconspicuous.  They stay open for a few days, then fade.

The blossoms open a creamy white, then slowly change to a soft yellow as they age.  Eventually, one by one, the petals will fall and the scent will disappear.

But for now, as I find myself bent to some garden chore, a soft breeze will pick up the scent and carry it to me.  It always makes me stop and smile.  It reminds me to sit back, to look about and see the surrounding nature...and allow the garden to refresh me.


  1. Beautiful photo! Wish I'd seen this post before we met on Saturday, RBell... we have another plant in common and on Saturday morning I was outside paying homage to my banana shrub, too.

    Your Michelia/Magnolia figo is so tall! Mine has grown well and is also in flower, but it lost a lot of foliage & some small branches from that February cold spell.

    Stop & smile for sure!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  2. Annie: Saw that in your blog (name changes make me grumpy); think mine is tall cuz of the shade - likely more light results in thicker, fuller, shorter.

  3. I still like the name Michelia, RBell ... that's the name Banana shrub bore when first I coveted it ;-]

    My plant was a 1-gallon starter in Spring 2005. The pecan tree overhead is making it stretch out, too.


  4. What delicate, pretty little flowers. Don't know if we can grow it in Zone 8a climate, but I am going to check.