Magnolia figo (Banana Shrub)

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Scientific Name

Magnolia figo (Lour.) DC.

Common Names

Banana Shrub, Port Wine Magnolia, Dwarf Chempaka, Brown-stalked Magnolia, Chinese Tulip Tree

Synonyms

Magnolia figo var. figo, Liriodendron figo (basionym), Michelia figo, Liriopsis fuscata, Magnolia annonifolia, Magnolia fasciata, Magnolia fuscata, Magnolia meleagrioides, Magnolia parvifolia, Magnolia versicolor, Michelia fascicata, Michelia fuscata, Michelia parviflora, Sampacca parviflora

Scientific Classification

Family: Magnoliaceae
Subfamily: Magnolioideae
Genus: Magnolia

Flower

Color: Cream-white
Bloom Time: Early spring through the summer

Description

Magnolia figo is an evergreen tree up to 13 feet (3.9 m) tall. The leaves are leathery, dark glossy-green, up to 10 cm long. It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens for its fragrant flowers, which are cream-white, purple rounded, or light-purple, and strongly scented with isoamyl alcohol. The flowers appear in early spring, with blooms continuing sporadically through the summer.

Photo via allegro.pl

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 8a to 10b: from 10 °F (−12.2 °C) to 40 °F (+4.4 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Although different species of Magnolia can tolerate slightly different conditions. In general they will do best with slightly acidic, moist, loose, well-draining soil. To mimic Magnolia’s natural conditions, amend heavy soil with peat moss and compost. Grow best in Zones 7-10, depending on variety, with a few cultivars hardy to zone 5. Full sun to partial shade. Moist, peaty soil can help Magnolias tolerate full sun. If you’re pushing the limits of cold tolerance, avoid planting Magnolias in southern exposure since the leaves can be damaged by winter sun and flowers may open prematurely. Magnolias benefit from irrigation the first few years, then they are tolerant of moderate drought.

They need room to grow to their full mature size and width. While looking small when first planted, over time they’ll grow to fill up the space.

Some varieties of Magnolia don’t bloom until 15 years old, so be sure to choose one that’s fits your needs and expectations. Grafted plants (rather than seed-grown) bloom sooner… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for Magnolias

Origin

It is native to China.

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