Banana Shrub, Michelia figo, is a large-growing evergreen shrub in the Magnolia Family. Banana Shrub enjoys shade and regular water. Blooms are highly fragrant and really do smell like bananas. The petals are the color of a banana peel but with a burgundy center. A large bush will fragrance the whole garden and cause your friends to go on a search for the source of the scent.
A native shrub blooming in my garden this week is Calycanthus floridus, most often referred to as Sweet Shrub, but also known as Sweet Betsy, Bubby Bush, and Pineapple Shrub. Blooms are very fragrant, but the fragrance can vary from one bush to another. Some don't have much of a scent while others will. There's a reddish brown blooming species and a yellow blooming cultivar. The yellow blooming 'Athens' is said to be much more fragrant that the species.
Crossvine is a vigorous native vine often confused with Trumpet Creeper/Trumpet Vine/Cow Itch, but it's a different plant altogether. Bignonia capreolata is an evergreen vine with orange to red blooms like the flames of a fire. Hummingbirds love it even more than I do. Blooms are fragrant, but we seem to disagree with eachother on what the flowers smell like. Some say they smell like curry, but others insist it's mocha. Crossvine needs a strong support but is not invasive. Native to the Southeastern United States.
Red Buckeye, Aesculus pavia, is my most favorite native tree. This small native tree grows with a shrubby habit and is native to the Eastern United States. It naturally occurs in shady woods but when grown in full sun, the flowers are huge red and yellow spikes that are showy from a great distance. Red Buckeye is one of the first plants to bloom when the hummingbirds return in the Spring. This buckeye is drought tolerant and very easy to grow.