Oh, The Heavenly Scent of Michelia Figo!

Discussion in 'COMPANION PLANTS - TROPICAL & SUBTROPICAL' started by kwtimo, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. kwtimo

    kwtimo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    key west, fl 10b-11
    As a gardener and grower in the lower Keys, I always try to use uncommon, interesting and collectible plant material. I have always enjoyed expanding my knowledge and experience with scented plants, and I was extremely happy to come across Michelia Figo a couple of years ago. I was familiar with the deliciously scented Michelia Alba and Champaca as canopy tress, but I was unaware that there was a shrub form that could provide for a whole different experience. Tolerant of full sun to fairly deep shade, These attractive shrubs have the typical Magnolia type buds for both leaf and flower. The creamy yellow, 1 inch short lived blooms really pack a punch of heavenly scent when open, especially when the air is thick and humid. These respond quite well to pruning, and can be kept fairly tight if desired. The plants I purchased in Alachua County are a cultivar called Michelia Figo var. Skineriana, which is supposed to be a more scale resistant form. These can grow throughout the entire state of Florida, and across the southern Gulf States. I've even heard them called Banana Magnolia in Mississippi. I get random bloom processions about every 4 to 6 weeks in Key West. The pics here are of a plant that is in fairly deep shade. I've also included a pic of the minor scale that can be expected from time to time.This is a wonderful shrub that is worth the space in the garden, but find out for yourself! michellia figo 012.jpg michellia figo 004.jpg michellia figo 006.jpg michellia figo 013.jpg michellia figo 005.jpg
     
  2. Dypsisdean

    Dypsisdean Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    13,862
    Location:
    Big Island of Hawaii - Kona
    Another plant I am unfamiliar with. Thanks for posting. We have a few of the Michelia Alba and Champaca scattered about.

    One of these days the internet will allow fragrances to be transmitted along with the pics - now wouldn't that be something. :)
     
  3. Moose

    Moose Esteemed Member

    Messages:
    7,947
    Location:
    Coral Gables, FL Zone 10b
    I don't recall ever seeing this plant either. Nice looking flowers that waft a nice scent in the garden - what's not to love. Tim - could you compare the scent to something I may be familar with? :confused:
     
  4. kwtimo

    kwtimo Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    Location:
    key west, fl 10b-11
    Ron, that's not an easy question to answer. If you are familiar with the scent of Michelia alba, then you could say there is some similarity, but it is still so much different. I would say it is "fruitier" and sweeter M. alba, with almost a touch of grape soda if that makes any sense at all. It is really something that you have to experience for yourself. I have a few of these at the Audubon house that bloom most of the year, but they also seem to put more scent out later in the day. Sorry I can't really nail it down to anything specific. They are indeed nice plants though.
     
  5. krishnaraoji88

    krishnaraoji88 Active Member

    Messages:
    36
    Location:
    Ocala, FL 8b/9a
    This plant is great, I almost would say it smells like artificial banana smell (like in candies) but better. There are quite a few smaller and medium sized species of michelia (now classified as magnolia) that are becoming available and the best part is that many of them are cold tolerant! I bought M. Veluntina, M. Macclurei, and M. Maudiae that all seem to be doing well but haven't flowered yet. They also have really interesting foliage.
     

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