Michelia figo

Botanical Name : Michelia figo
Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia
Species: M. figo
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Magnoliales

Synonyms: Liriodendron figo – Lour., Michelia fuscata – (Andrews.)Wall.

Other Common Names :Banana Shrub, Port Wine Magnolia, Michelia figo

Habitat :Michelia figo is native to China.It grows in broad-leaved evergreen forests, shady slopes and along river banks.

Description:
Michelia figo is an evergreen Shrub growing to 5m by 4m.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. The leaves are leathery, dark glossy-green, up to 10 cm long. This plant is used in Shanghai, China, as a tall evergreen hedge. It grows to a large evergreen compact tree. It grows in acid and alkaline soil very well. Susceptible to black soot.

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It is hardy to zone 9 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from April to July, and the seeds ripen from August to November. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :
Succeeds in a humus-rich well-drained neutral to alkaline soil in direct light or partial shade. Requires a neutral to acid soil according to other reports. Although not very frost-hardy, plants have survived in sheltered positions outdoors in southern England, tolerating temperatures down to about -5°c. They require the protection of a cold greenhouse at Kew gardens. The flowers have a banana scent. This is one of the most fragrant of all shrubs with a scent strongly resembling the sweet ‘pear drops’. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus.

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Propagation:
Seed – probably best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in the autumn, it can also be sown in the spring. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Consider giving them some protection from the cold for at least their first winter outdoors. Cuttings of greenwood, summer in a frame.

Edible Uses:
Edible Uses: Condiment.

The leaves are used for scenting tea.

Medicinal Uses:

There are no medicinal uses listed for Michelia figo.

Other Uses:
It is cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens for its fragrant flowers

Scented Plants
Flowers: Fresh
The flowers have a banana scent. This is one of the most fragrant of all shrubs with a scent strongly resembling the sweet ‘pear drops’.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelia_figo
http://digedibles.com/database/plants.php?Michelia+figo

http://practicalplants.org/wiki/Michelia_figo

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