Common name: Ylang ylang, Cananga tree, Perfume tree, Chanel No. 5 tree

Native to: Malaysia and Indonesia


Native to tropical Asia and northern Australia, it is commonly called Ylang-Ylang and is among the most celebrated flowering trees in the world. There is a single main trunk that is usually bent to some degree. The bark is smooth and grayish white to silvery. The leaves are dark green, up to 20 cm in length, alternate, simple, entire, elliptic-oblong, slightly pubescent and with a prominent midrib and drip tip. As flowering often occurs year-round, ripe fruits can usually be found at any time. Fruits turn from dark green to black when ripe.
Numerous clusters of flower bundles grow out of the axes of the leaves. Every flower has six tongue-like, twisted petals which remind one of a star. First the flowers are white, and then change to green-yellow and in older age to orange-reddish. Often the same tree shows different flower colourings.From the yellow flowers the best oil can be produced. The blossoms are distilled to obtain cananga oil, which is used to manufacture expensive perfumes, including the world famous Chanel No. 5.Grown in the tropics as an ornamental and for the fragrant flowers, this rather uncommon tree makes an outstanding landscape specimen tree or unique and fragrant indoor large potted plant.

Cananga odorata

  • Native / exotic: Exotic

    Aspect: Full sun in humid tropical areas

    Flowers: Yellow five point star flower in clusters at the end of the branch

    Fragrance: Incredbly fragrant, used in perfume making

    Foliage: Evergreen, bright green

    Growth habit: Upright, wide spread canopy

    Hardiness: Hardy but not drought resistant

    Height: Up to 20 metre

    Spread: Up to 10 metres

    Soil requirements: Prefers moist well-drained soils. Keep well mulched

    Uses: Attractive evergreen tree with incredible perfume


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