vickibre2003May 27, 2005

Hi All,

This being my first Spring in AL I have to ask what are the bushes flowering right now with the delicate white flowers that smell like Heaven ? They are all over here in the woods along the driveway (wooded) and all around our pond and can be seen almost everywhere while driving down the road. Most are just starting to die off now but there are still a few in bloom and still smell GREAT.

TIA, Vicki

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Hi Vicki!

Welcome to Alabama!

Unfortunately the shrub you're probably talking about is Chinese privet - one of the South's biggest woodland thugs. Click on the link below and see if this isn't "it".

Here is a link that might be useful: Chinese privet

    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 11:35PM
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Dave_from_the_Hills(z7B ALABAMA)

Vicki, since you like the fragrance of the Privet flowers, you may want to plant Japanese Privet (a/k/a Japanese Ligustrum or Ligustrum japonicum). It's not nearly as thuggish as far as escaping into the wild around here and has larger leaves and a more attractive habit. There is also a variegated form called 'Jack Frost' available at times.

Ligustrum flower appeal seems to vary widely from person to person. I can't stand them! LOL. They smell sickly sweet to me. My wife has banned me from ever planting one...

If you like Ligustrum, you really need to try the real stars for fragrance in Southern gardens, like Gardenias Gardenias and more Gardenias, Tea Olive (Osmanthus fragrans), Southern Magnolia ('Little Gem' is great for smaller gardens and makes lots of flowers at a young age), Banana Shrub (Michelia figo or Michelia skinneriana), and Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus floridus -- look for 'Athens' with very fragrant green flowers instead of the usual reddish-brown). What am I forgetting???!!!???

    Bookmark   May 28, 2005 at 7:17AM
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Welcome Vickie. Dave has given you some good suggestions.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2005 at 9:58AM
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Thanks for all the good info, I am sure now this is a Chinese Privet, It is all over our 50 acres out in the woods and around the pond. It is very sweet smelling, I like it but my daughter doesn't. I had now idea it was a bad thing, don't need to plant any in the yard with so much outside in other areas.
Should have known when I saw so much of it that it was not a good thing.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 8:19PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The discussion about aroma is interesting. I find the smell of ligustrum repugnant. We've recently moved into a house where there are a couple of established specimens, and they will be yanked out with NO remorse whatsoever.

On the other hand, I recall a student of mine who could not smell them even when he stuck his nose right in those flower! Very strange.

Welcome to Alabama! I moved here from Coastal SC (Beaufort) just over 3 years ago and am still enjoying the differences in climate, soil, plants, etc.

    Bookmark   May 29, 2005 at 9:52PM
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Why does everybody grow it when it gives most everyone I know a headache or asthma.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 3:47AM
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WannaBGardener(8b & 4a)

the smell gives my husband real bad headaches, but doesn't bother me over much. However when my gardenia bush is in bloom the smell nearly keeps me off our deck till the blooms fade away. Talk about over powering, and the bush is twenty feet from the deck. By the way you are ging to love gardening in Alabama, and learning from all the helpful folks here.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 9:17AM
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I love to smell privet, but when it blooms my sinuses become irritated and often infected. I usually take a 1/2 dose of Nyquil at bedtime and that staves off the annual attack.

BTW, welcome to Alabama gardening, Vicki. The Alabama Gardenweb group is a great gang of folks.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 12:27PM
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