A slow growing, compact shrub. It bears small, shiny deep green leaves and tiny spring-blooming heavily scented cream flowers streaked with purple. Pruning produces abundant new flowering growth. Prefers neutral to acid, humus-rich, well-drained soil; they resent being transplanted. The banana shrub is so called because of the distinctive, sweet banana scent of its flowers. These are formed within interesting fuzzy brown bracts that form a 1 in (2.5 cm) cigar-shaped bud, from which small off-white flowers burst forth from late spring through summer. The blossoms are about 1.5 in (3.8 cm) in diameter with each of six waxy petals delicately outlined in dark red.