Cananga Species, Ribbon Tree, Ylang-Ylang

Cananga odorata

Family: Annonaceae
Genus: Cananga (kan-AN-guh) (Info)
Species: odorata (oh-dor-AY-tuh) (Info)
Synonym:Canangium odoratum
Synonym:Uvaria odorata
Synonym:Cananga scortechinii



Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone



Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Blooms repeatedly

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From seed; sow indoors before last frost

Seed Collecting:

Unblemished fruit must be significantly overripe before harvesting seed; clean and dry seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Fallbrook, California(5 reports)

Long Beach, California

Los Angeles, California

San Clemente, California

San Diego, California

Bunnell, Florida

Cocoa Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Lake Worth, Florida

Loxahatchee, Florida

Merritt Island, Florida(2 reports)

Miami, Florida

Mulberry, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida(2 reports)

Sarasota, Florida

Vero Beach, Florida

Ainaloa, Hawaii(2 reports)

Hana, Hawaii

Hawaiian Beaches, Hawaii(2 reports)

Leilani Estates, Hawaii(2 reports)

Nanawale Estates, Hawaii(2 reports)

Pahoa, Hawaii(2 reports)

Rincon, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Mar 12, 2018, Jolene03 from Murrieta, CA wrote:

I'm wondering if anyone has had success growing this tree from seed in Murrieta, California?


On Dec 16, 2016, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

This NOT strictly z11 plant. It grows through out of most of 10b Southern California. Tricky to keep,but its possible.


On Sep 20, 2012, pineapplejune from Southgate, FL wrote:

I planted an ylang-ylang about three years ago. I live in Sarasota, Florida, near Selby Gardens and fell in love with the fragrance of the very big ylang-ylang there. Mine has grown well, is almost ten feet tall, but hasn't yet bloomed--woe. I note that it requires slightly acidic soil. My backyard, where the tree is, is slightly alkaline. I'm going to remedy that and see if that does the trick to make it bloom.

Well! Posting that it had not bloomed must have made it bloom! (And I seldom use exclamation points.) The next day I have found a beautiful big bloom. But I'm still going to add coffee grounds around it.


On Jun 5, 2012, justjim1960 from Palm Bay, FL wrote:

I ordered an ylang ylang from Gardinos Rare and Unusual Plants in Delray Bch., Fl. A six inch pot was $27 and change delivered FedEx in 4 days from the order being place. It went right into a prepared hole in the front garden; has grown 3 inches in the 5 days since I received it! Can't wait for next year, it'll probably be flowering by then. If you live in zone 9b or south, give this pace a try. They also have a wide selection of plumerias. Oh, I am not affiliated with them, I'm just really pleased with their turnaround and the quality of the plant I received. Got to keep the good nurseries in business!


On Mar 13, 2010, xaia from Kitchener,
Canada wrote:

I just received the seeds of Ylang Ylang through a site on the net. They arrived very quickly, in good condition, and with excellent growing instructions. I can't wait to see them sprout!! I will post again on the progress of my newly acquired gems!!


On Oct 6, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This is a medium-sized tropical tree. It can be grown in tubs in cooler climates, but must be kept warm. As the tree ages, the trunk has a crooked, contorted shape.


On Dec 3, 2002, moonraker from Swindon,
United Kingdom wrote:

This tall (60') tropical tree hails from the East Indies, although it is grown in many tropical countries all over the world. It is the source of ylang-ylang extract, which is a very penetrating smell. Used in soap, perfumery, aromatherapy. The 6-petalled flowers are difficult to see since they are a pale lime-green and tend to get overlooked. The green fruit is the shape of an acorn and, once ripe and purple, the seeds can be extracted. They look similar to passion-fruit seeds. The tree shape is interesting, the branches droop down and then swoop up at the ends.

Some fruits were acquired in September and put into seed trays and to date (December) three have sprouted and the trees are about 3" high. Warm conditions and high humidity help, so I keep them in my bathroom.