Of Interest - Worst Smelling Flowers!

jodik_gwJanuary 26, 2013

Since everyone here has a great interest in the scent of flowers, I thought I would share an article I just ran into regarding the world's worst smelling flowers. It's interesting to note that scent is used to draw pollinators, like bees and butterflies... but scent is also used to draw pollinators, such as flies and beetles, that are attracted to different scents, such as rotting garbage, corpses, etc.

The photos accompanying the article are pretty cool, as are the types of plants in this category, and the facts about them. There's even an orchid that is known by its rank odor, Bulbophyllum phalaenopsis, which is said to smell like dead mice. It smells this way to attract the pollinators in its area, flies.

I found the article highly interesting, and thought you lovers of scented flowers might, too! It's the polar opposite, of course, of why we like scented blooms... but mother Nature is nothing if not ingenious in her quest to produce the next generation! Enjoy!

Here is a link that might be useful: Hold your nose!

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Lol..I think I had one of those plants and I am so glad it died before it ever flowered!

the Carob one is quite interesting and well as the tremors one..Wowoow.
I had no idea flies had a purpose except tp eat garbage.

Thanks Jodik. Remind me not to buy one of those. I have smelled a plant that smelled like pee and I thought that was bad.


    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 9:32PM
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Some marigolds smell like pee. I wouldn't want them in my home, but they're supposed to prevent certain insects from infesting flower beds so I plant them every spring among my rose bushes...

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 1:26AM
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I've heard that, too, Rosey. It is said that surrounding one's vegetable bed with Marigolds will help keep harmful insects at bay, or at least discourage some pests, though I've never put this theory to the test. If there is any truth to it, it might have to do with scent... who knows? It would be kind of interesting to find out.

Mike, I think I actually had one of the potted cacti/succulent looking plants with the star shaped flowers at one time... though it never bloomed for me. Supposedly, they are rather popular... along with those other spathe looking flowers grown from bulbs or corms. I'm kind of glad the cacti thing never flowered! Ewww!

Although... if the only pollinators in your area were flies, you might rethink a few plants grown outside!

In any case... I just thought people might find the article of interest, since scent is what the forum is all about!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 11:50AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Not in the same league with those notorious stinkies, but these smell pretty bad to me...

Narcissus, don't cut to bring inside.
Bradford pear trees.
Southern Magnolia (M. grandiflora) blooms - smells like Lemon pledge.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 1:39PM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hi Jodi,

I also found the article interesting!!

Those pictures were beautiful and interesting ;-) at the same time.. I am just amazed at what Mother Nature can do and how they resemble certain things.. Still speechless!!!

I have actually been trying to think of any fragrances that i can think of that smelled terrible to me. There was only one tree when i was growing up that reminded me of "pee", but i can't remember the name of that bush.

The flowers in some of the pics were really unique and i would actually like to have a few of them!!

Thanks for sharing the info.. I guess that would give my DH something to think about instead of the "number" of plants and trees.. LOLOL.. He could be wondering " what in the world is that smell?"

Hmmm, sounds like a plan!! ;-)

Take care,


    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 8:15PM
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LOL, Laura! I can just imagine placing a potted stinker right near the front door... people would wonder where in the world that ripe scent of rotting garbage was coming from! ;-)

Mother Nature is truly amazing in her quest to keep reproducing for posterity... truly amazing. I'm not sure that I want to grow any of the more pungent plant material, but it's interesting, nonetheless.

I, too, find most Daffodils to smell a little bad... though I've never thought Yarrow smelled that awful. The other plants mentioned, I can't comment on. I am glad that roses and lilies overpower anything else in our gardens!

    Bookmark   January 28, 2013 at 1:28PM
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I have a staphelia with a giant blossom getting ready to bloom in my kitchen, it doesn't smell great but with mine you really have to get close to smell it. The texture is pretty gross though, it's so dry and leathery but covered in fine hairs, I love how weird it is!

    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 9:15AM
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Loveplants2 8b Virginia Beach, Virginia

I would love to see a pic Leahrenn1, if possible?

We all love different things and i would love to see your bloom...

Take care,


    Bookmark   January 29, 2013 at 12:04PM
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Yes, if anyone grows any of these marvels, I'd like to see photos, too! Anyone?

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 12:43PM
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It's pretty big, thank goodness it really doesn't smell.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 3:37PM
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update, I brought this in to the office to show off... and on day two it started to stink, I thought my co-worker had gas! I had to move it away from my desk, so I was wrong, it is ugly and it stinks! :P

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 2:47PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

"thought my co-worker had gas"


    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 4:42PM
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Thanks for the laugh, I love that flower! So cool looking!
I have some vodoo lillies, very strange looking and when it flowers, it is suppose to smell like rotting flesh. Attracts flies! gross, so I put it in a pot right next to my pond so that my froggie can have a nice meal. LOL!
It grew last summer, but no flowers, mabey not mature enough.
i will try to post a pic of it this summer hopefully it will come back up in the pot. i don't know if I want it to bloom though. LOL! Froggie already gets enough to eat as it is.
I love strange plants too, Laura. I think mabey this year I will see if I can find some pitcher plants. Anything different.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 1:34AM
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the funny thing is - the coworker probably thought the same about you. :D

I guess you brought that plant home pretty quick - so where did you put it?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 9:47AM
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Actually I kept it on a table behind me for a few days, we played a fun game with the rest of our co-workers, inviting them to smell the beautiful flower... :D At home it lives on a window ledge in the kitchen, I am not sure why I have never smelled it before.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 3:06PM
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Campanula UK Z8

When the Titum arum at our local botanics bloomed, the glasshouses stayed open till midnight - it was quite a sight - little kids in their pyjamas with mums and dads, queuing up to see (and sniff) the largest flower in the world. By 6 feet away or so, little whiffs wafted about and as we all shuffled past (to the sound of gagging and retching (and shrieks from little ones), we were assailed by the most loathesome pong - old blood, very dodgy meat - truly awesome.....and the flower was utterly alien (although extraordinarily bizarrely lush).

On a more usual level, I am not at all keen on Crown Imperial fritillaries or the foliage of codonopsis clematidea.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 6:47PM
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Hey campanula! welcome! I remember u from the ogr forum I visited briefly this fall..

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 7:56PM
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I first off want to say hello and that I was sick if anyone was concerned.

I will post a picture of what I thought would be a beautiful smelling orchid! Goodness, what a gross smell!


    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 9:24PM
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