Cestrum 'Orange Peel' is indeed fragrant
This post is to answer Robert's question about Cestrum 'Orange Peel'. He wrote:
~"I was wondering if you've grown Cestrum 'Orange Peel' (a hybrid between nocturnum and diurnum)? Some sources state it has a sweet fragrance at night and other sources mention no scent. It's supposed to be cold hardy where I live and attract hummers (both a plus) but of course being the scent whore that I am I'm wondering about the scent."~
Yes I have grown Cestrum 'Orange Peel' and I reccomend it.
This plant is most like its parent Cestrum Nocturnum.
It has no fragrance during the day. It does have fragrance at night though. It does not smell to me much like orange fruit or orange peel though. The name must be for the orange color of the flowers. It smells like cestrum.
Cestrum aurantiacum 'Lemon Peel' does smell citrusy to my nose though! Perhaps it is the power of suggestion. I will check on both of these and make notes to report back though.
Where are you thinking of buying your 'Orange Peel' plant from? In cases like this, I reccomend a nursery whose description mentions fragrance in specific. And what I would do is write them before hand. Ask them directly if the plant you are ordering is fragrant or not. They will hopefully answer that it is. If they answer that they are not sure, your options are to order from some other place, order something different entirely, or to tell the company that you grow only for fragrance, and if the product is not as described, you will return it and expect a refund.
This isn't to say that a plant isn't fragrant simply because it isn't described as such by a certain nursery however. To some people, fragrance simply isn't the consideration it is for us, true fragrance enthusiasts.
I know, it is hard for me to imagine too, but this is the sad truth. Consider only the parking lot plantings of America as a case in point. Secondly, a grower may have never noticed a given plant's fragrance, powerful as it be. This could likely be with a plant only fragrant at nigt, and one grown for its showy blooms, like Cestrum 'Orange Peel'. Finally, and this is not a good thing, but it is actually not always easy to find species and varieties of certain plants "true". What a given nursery is growing and offering may, or may not be the true Cestrum "Orange Peel". For my part, I could care less if the plant I am getting is 'Orange Peel' as long only as what I am to recieve is a cestrum that is fragrant. This is why I reccomend you go with the nursery advertising the plant as fragrant. It is possible the other nursery, which does not mention fragrance, is mistaken, and is in reality offering some other, non-fragrant variety. Conversely, true "Orange Peel" may not be fragrant at all, but the fragrant imposter sold by nurseries is the one I would by all means like to have!
As to this plant's being hardy where you live, consider it a possibility. Cestrum 'Orange Peel' is hardy zones 7 and warmer. In zone 9, Cestrum is a shrub, and Cestrum Nocturnum blooms on and off all year there and in tropical and sub tropical areas. In zone 8 Cestrum 'Orange Peel' is a deciduous shrub with some die-back each year, but resprouting vigorously I'm told. In zone 7 in the South, Cestrum Orange peel freezes to the ground, but regrows to waist height or taller in summer. Here in zone 7 in New Jersey, along the Atlantic Coast, this doesn't always work. The middle zones, 6 & 7, are two different things entirely in the North vs. in the South. The absolute minimum temperatures may not be any lower here than they are, say in Atlanta. We have rare winter mornings in the teens, almost never winter monnings 5-10 degrees F but this can happen) Here we endure them over a longer period and more frequently too however. Zone 7 gardeners in Dixie do not have to contend with foot upon foot of snow and ice as we often do, for that matter either, which can lay waste to otherwise cold hardy plants, like a Camelia Japonica out of the ground or in an unprotected location.
My reccomendation is to propogate a few small back-up plants this season, and keep them inside over the winter just in case. Then, don't consider your outdoors Cestrum 'Orange Peel' a plant-it-and-forget-it plant. Mulch it heavily over the winter. Over the summer, water it well, and give it TLC so as to have the largest, strongest plant possible going into what could be a cold winter. This Spring, plant it early to give it the best jump, and give it the best soil and sun you can. You will probably also want to plant it in a protected location, such as next to the house. Consider that, where you live, if Snapdragons over-winter in a certain position, this is likely a good place to try other plants of borderline hariness. Have fun!