This little tree has been discussed in the Florida Garden Forum and they recommend it for its sweet-smelling flowers.
Does anyone here have experience with this shrub/tree? Does it attract butterflies?
I've never planted it myself, but my parents had one in their yard. I don't ever remember seeing a butterfly or hummingbird visit the flowers, and the flowers don't have the kind of structure that either normally use. The flowers are sort of like little magnolias with the petals turned upward.
My Daddy used to put the flowers in his pocket so he could smell them everywhere he went - the fragrance is very strong.
Possible host plant for Swallowtails, though there are other members of the Magnolia family that are better suited as host plants.
I grow the related Michelia crassipes. I have never seen butterflies show any interest in the plant. It has very nicely scented flowers, though. I live in CA, so FL butterflies may differ.
The chance that a Swallowtail would use Michelia is an outside one, but I know that Tigers go for Tulip Trees (Liriodendron) as a host plant in Central to North Florida and up the East Coast. They prefer Black Cherry leaves here in the Midwest.
Sweet Bay Magnolia (Magnolia virginica) is another host plant for Eastern Swallowtails.
I have both the Sweet Bay Magnolia and the Wild Black Cherry tree. The Sweet Bays are supposed to be good for Tigers. I have seen them on my tree. The Wild Black Cherry is supposed to be a host for something like four different butterflies and some moths.
I mostly get the eastern black swallowtails on my fennel.
Saw my first Monarch in about three weeks today. Hooray!