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Last Update 06/03/08

Plant of the Month

Cananga

 Ylang-Ylang, Ilang-Ilang, Perfume Tree

Ylang-Ylang or Cananga has wonderfully scented blooms often used in some of the world's most expensive perfumes.  The plant is native to Burma, Malaysia, the Philippines and northern Australia.  Of the family Annonaceae (Cherimoya) it is cultivated for its unusual flowers and their scent.

Cananga

Plant Facts:

Common Name:  Ylang-Ylang, Ilang-Ilang, Perfume Tree

Botanical Name:  Cananga Odorata

Family:  Annonaceae (Cherimoya) 

Plant Type:  Large, evergreen tree

Origin: Burma, Malaysia, the Philippines and northern Australia

Zones: 10 - 11

Height:  50 - 75', often grown as a large shrub with constant pruning

Rate of Growth: Fast

Salt Tolerance: Medium

Soil Requirements:  Fertile, well-drained soil

Water Requirements: Requires regular watering

Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly

Light Requirements: Full sun

Form:  Tall tree or shrub

Leaves:  Bright green, glossy, oblong, 10 or more inches long, 3" wide, drooping

Flowers: Consist of six narrow, twisted, drooping 3 - 4" long petals. Open green but soon turn to yellow, greenish yellow or orange. Blooms throughout the year, but heaviest in late autumn. Give off a sweet, penetrating scent used in the fine perfume industry.

Fruits: Green which turn black when ripe

Pests or diseases:  None major

Uses:  Specimen plant, hedge

Bad Habits: Brittle, pendulous branches break off in high wind.

Cost:  $$ -- reasonable although somewhat difficult to find

Propagation:  Seeds, stem cuttings sometimes successful

Sources:  Tropical Look: An Encyclopedia of Dramatic Landscape Plants

 
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