Banana shrub received its common name because its flowers smell like ripe bananas. It blooms heavily in the spring with cream-colored, one-inch flowers that look like tiny magnolia blossoms edged with crimson. Blooming will continue sporadically throughout the summer. The plant is evergreen and has glossy, deep green leaves that are three inches long, making it a great backdrop for other garden plants. The buds and immature leaves often have a covering of brown fuzz that the leaves lose as they mature. Banana shrub can be planted near an entryway or window so that its fragrance can be enjoyed, but it can also be incorporated in a mixed shrub border or used as a hedge.