most fragrant plants by ranking

minnie3(z9 CA)July 21, 2005

Hi everybody, especially the experts,

What are the most fragrant ones by rank?

Hema

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Rekha Anandkumar(9)

I think Gardenia's are really fragrant, they are tough to grow though.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 10:44AM
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phillygardener(z6 PA)

Jasmine, Gardenias and Oriental Lilies are the most powerfully fragrant plants I know of.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 1:50PM
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risingpower1(Essex, UK)

I think the michelia figo is one of the strongest smells I've come across, but most orchids are equally scented. But of course strength doesn't necessarily mean it's a nice smell, take the jasmine sambacs for example, weaker scented than the grandiflorum, but a much nicer scent.

RP1

    Bookmark   July 21, 2005 at 6:39PM
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angelsmell(Fullerton, CA 1)

Michelia Alba is the most beautiful scent of all my plants...... and the flowers last continue for 9 months.
It smells like sweet juicy fruit gum. Very tropical

    Bookmark   July 23, 2005 at 10:22PM
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mare2(5bSt.Louis)

If you mean strongest, most wafting scent, I'm surprised no one mentioned cestrum nocturnum or night blooming jasmine as #1 (at night only--no fragrance at all during the day). It's legendary for having what some experts claim is the most powerful flower scent there is. From what I've read on this forum, not everyone thinks it's a completely pleasant scent, and it can be overpowering for some people and cause headaches.
If the conditions are right (lots of heat and humidity), I can smell mine clear down the block at night. Would definitely never plant one under a bedroom window again! <:o>

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 10:47AM
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Arl_Tom(z7A VA)

I'm no expert, but...

1. Osmanthus fragrans
2. Lonicera fragrantissima
3. Chimonanthus praecox
4. Elaeagnus pungens
5. Gardenia jasminoides

    Bookmark   July 24, 2005 at 9:54PM
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Morgan2475

Im in agreement with Arl Tom Sweet olive is the most fragrant shrub I know of. Banana shrub is good too but Tom, I have never herd of Chimonanthus praecox. I did a search but no site could say just what they smell like?
Can you help me out?

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 9:51AM
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angelsmell(Fullerton, CA 1)

The Os Fragrans is the most beautiful smell I ever smelled, I just wish it bloomed in the summer so the warmth would waft it through the air.... I love them they smell like sweet apricots. The Michelia blooms forever..... it seems.
I wish I could find some of the other varieties of Osmanthus.......

    Bookmark   July 25, 2005 at 11:08PM
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charlene_in_iowa(5 Zone)

I would have to say Night Blooming Jasmine, Honeysuckle and my 4 O'Clocks for fragrance.

Not to steal the thread but I think I am convinced, I have read time and time again about Michelia alba so I thought I would search for a plant. I came across this reference to GardenWeb. How about that?!

Charlene

Here is a link that might be useful: Reference to Gardenweb

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 12:23AM
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jscanlin(z7NY)

Arl Tom, I've been thinking of planting C. praecox based on reports of its incredible fragrance, but those at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden don't seem to have a strong scent, at least during the afternoons when I've smelled them. Is the scent stronger at a particular time of day or during particular weather conditions?

Best,
Jen

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 9:28AM
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ariel73(z9FL)

In no particular order

Michelia alba
Sweet almond verbana
butterfly ginger
gardenias
and citrus- when blooming

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 10:00AM
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jeff_al

flowering tobacco, nicotiana sp., is especially strong to me, but only in the evening hours. it has a musky floral scent that i find pleasant. a few of them in a bed by the front porch always draws comments and some who encounter it find the fragrance too strong at close range (or, they may not be fond of that particular fragrance).

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 2:15PM
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jimshy

This is a good thread!

OK, I'll be typically obsessive-compulsive and break down my list of most powerful (NB: strong doesn't necessarily mean better!) scents into two categories, based on what I've actually smelled:

Night-scented:

Cestrum nocturnum
brunfelsia americana and nitida
brugmansias
brassavola nodosa

Day-scented:

osmanthus fragrans
magnolia grandiflora
gardenias
trachelospermum jasminoides
murreyas and citrus (similar scent and strength)
plumerias

Could this be another list for the FAQ?

Jim

    Bookmark   July 26, 2005 at 5:00PM
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fabkebab(z8B Houston)

For me, the strongest in my area (houston)-

Banana Shrub (Michela figo)
Hyacinth (grown as an annual)
Stock (grown as an annual)
Citrus (orange and satsuma in my case)
Pink Jasmine
Asian Jasmine
Sambac Jasmine
Chinaberry
Alyssum
Honeysuckle
Pittosporum
Lugustrum (not pleasant exactly, but strong)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 1:15PM
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Arl_Tom(z7A VA)

RE Chimonanthus praecox (Wintersweet) - the scent is difficult to describe, but is very sweet, candy-like and carries a good distance. The flowers are fairly inconspicuous, so usually when it's blooming in late winter, it takes me a few minutes to figure out where the nice smell is coming from. It's especially nice in this area since nearly everything else looks dead at that time in the season.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 8:22PM
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Arl_Tom(z7A VA)

Oops sorry, forgot to comment on the best time of day to observe the scent of Chimonanthus praecox (Wintersweet). Actually, I don't recall exactly, but would probably be in the morning, but definitely during daylight hours - which are very short here at that time of year. I will try to remember to pay more attention next year. Chimonanthus is related to Calycanthus floridus (Sweet shrub) and to me smells similar, but less fruity. Calycanthus doesn't seem to carry as far, either. Calycanthus plants are known for having highly variable scent, depending on the seedstock, so maybe the same is true for Chimonanthus. Real experts, please step forward :-)

    Bookmark   July 27, 2005 at 8:41PM
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jscanlin(z7NY)

Thanks for the info, Tom - I'll have to prowl over there on a winter morning to check it out again :)

Many of the "most fragrants" listed so far aren't hardy up here, so here are some of my favorite heady wafters for more Northern climes:
- Lonicera japonica (I know this is a pest, but there's a big old vine of it on my fence and it makes for some intoxicating evenings in June.)
- L. fragrantissima (trying to find a place to grow this in my backyard - heavenly just at the end of winter)
- Trumpet and Oriental lilies, as long as you plant a bunch of them
- Common Lilac
- Rosa rugosa (growing in huge drifts at the seashore)
- Clethra alnifolia (Summersweet or Sweet Pepperbush)
- An old Eleagnus (fall-blooming, semi evergreen) maybe x ebbengi? growing down the block

    Bookmark   July 28, 2005 at 1:54PM
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minnie3(z9 CA)

Hi,
What do you think of Hedychium Dr. Moy?

Hema

    Bookmark   July 29, 2005 at 2:37AM
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gobows(Hawaii)

I don't argue with your choices but let me add:

White ginger flowers
Pikake flowers

Perhaps Tuberose?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2005 at 7:08AM
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wliu7(z10a: Sunset 22)

In PARTICULAR orders:

Michelia ALBA
Sweet olive
Michelia figo

Almost you could enjoy the fragrance when you type the names of these plants.
-LOL

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 8:51PM
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AgastacheMan(z7 CA)

Hedychiums, Psoralea pinnata, Agastache, Madagascar Jasmine, Pink Perfection Buddleja, Corydalis elata-flexuosa-flexuosa cultivars to name a few that create a haven of fragrance thrown out my the breeze or by the casual brush up against.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2005 at 12:10AM
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ValerieKat(Vic Australia)

The beautiful Daphne odora, a lovely clean, fresh perfume!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 1:01AM
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TheNatural1

Does anyone know about extracting essential oils from some of these really beautiful smelling plants/blossoms? I know some must be done as absolutes (with something like hexane), but which ones are they and are there any more natural ways to do it? Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 6:43PM
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Snow_Belt

I don't have the entire Latin names here, but evening scented stock and hoya are my favourites, so far. I grow the matthiola outdoors, but the hoya remains in the sun room.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2005 at 10:04PM
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mare2(5bSt.Louis)

I'm surprised only one person briefly mentioned the plant that's pictured next to the title of this forum...lilac!

TheNatural, there's some great discussion on extracting fragrances on this post--

Here is a link that might be useful: Perfume Question

    Bookmark   August 26, 2005 at 9:16AM
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Violet(zone 5 IL)

How about the good old fashioned plantain lily hosta with the huge white flowers. They smell night and day.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2005 at 5:17PM
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Ispahan Zone6a Chicago

Among the plants I have grown, both indoors and out, these are the plants with the strongest, farthest-reaching scents:

Brassavola nodosa
Phalaenopsis Bright Peacock 'Sweet Fragrance'
Phalaenopsis bellina
Lonicera japonica 'Halliana'
Hoya obscura
Lonicera fragrantissima
Jasminum sambac
Tilia cordata
Viburnum carlesii
Rosa 'Madame Plantier'
Rosa eglanteria
Citrus sp.
Gardenia sp.
Paeonia sp.
Polianthus tuberosa (esp. cultivar 'Single Mexican')

And here are some other plants with glorious fragrance that is not as far-reaching:

Hemerocallis citrina
Hosta plantaginea
Lonicera periclymenum
Eucharis amazonica
Hymenocallis sp.
Hoya lacunosa
Neomarica gracilis
Neomarica caerulea 'Regina'
Aglaia odorata

And many, many others...

    Bookmark   August 29, 2005 at 9:10PM
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smilacina(7bSC)

I love fragrant plants so of course I have to put in my two cents worth too.
Osmanthus fragrans...and there are differences in the fragrance between the white, orange and yellow flowered forms. However, they are all wonderful.
Daphne odora...can't say enough good things about it.
Edgeworhia chrysantha...beautiful buds in the winter and the fragrance is far reaching. It may be a bit cloying for some people.
Lonicera fragrantissima...another winter bloomer, not a pretty shrub but lovely fragrance.
Sambac jasmine although not hardy for me is worth the money to buy one or two every year.
Michelia figo skinneriana...sweet fruity, yum
Michelia maudiae....yet another winter bloomer, showy and very sweet fragrance, but not a heavy one.
Cestrum nocturnum...with our hot humid nights in SC, this really hangs on the air. Its acted like a herbaceous perennial for me for several years now.
Gardenias do really well for me and are hard to beat for beauty and fragrance.
I know its just an annual vine, but I really love the smell of Moonflower.
I could keep going, but I won't.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2005 at 4:02PM
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bbianca

where did you guys get your plants - michelia alba, osmanthus and etc? i'm big on fragrance, but i can't just have roses and gardenias. thanks!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 12:00AM
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sintra

In my garden i have a Burgmansia candida 'Ecuador Pink' and a Burgmansia candida x 'Double White' and at night the scent is very strong, but sweet, and carries a good distance. It flowers almost every year in my garden.
Another tree that have a very strong scent in the late winter nights (similar to the fragance of trachelospermum jasminoides) is the Pittosporum undulatum (sweet pittosporum) a tree that is very invasive in tropical countries. Considered a noxious weed in Hawaii.
Tha Japanese pittosporum (tobira) have a stronger scent and it's not evasive.
I have both in my gardem and love the fragances

    Bookmark   September 6, 2005 at 4:24PM
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michaelk(z8 Oregon)

FWIW - Our Nicotiana's put out a pretty strong and very pleasant scent
that'll "reach" pretty far. But only at night. I don't
recall the variety name (I know some have no scent at all!).

One may argue that each individual flower isn't as powerful
as some others (like Gardenias!), but the Nicotiana's make
it up in quanity. See the picture below, it blooms
massively and does so continuously for months.

Because it has so many over a large area, that probably
is what provides the distance it can project it's beautiful
scent.

Mike
Beaverton, Oregon

P.S. - Bonus is that they self-polinate like mad. We had
only a couple plants the previous year there. Picture is
of the second year's bloom. :-)

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 4:34PM
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putzer(z4 WI)

Sometimes it's easy to overlook more "common" flowers, but I love dark purple petunias, any kind of stock, four o'clocks, and nicotiana. And I almost forgot phlox.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 11:09PM
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sazji(8bNW Turkey)

Chimonanthus praecox is one of my favorite winter-blooming plants. The smell is very sweet, and somewhat "winy."

Another strong scented winter bloomr besides Daphne odor (which is one of my favorites) is almost any Sarcococca. It's one of those smells that not everybody likes; I can't take it for a long time but it's nice to catch it on the air. I feel the same way about oriental lilies...stick them back away from the path, catch a whif of them on the air.

Ditto for Brugmansia. Incredible scent but I had one blooming in a big pot out on a balcony, and when the breeze brought the fragrance into the bedroom, I couldn't sleep -- there was almost a physical "tickling" in my nose. Now I have a real garden and it's going to go into a far corner!

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 4:58PM
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kaihui(Z7 VA)

I remember the fragrant flowers in China when I was a kid:
C. praecox
Sweet Olive
Gardenia

Those trees are everywhere in the place I grew up. I could see a forest of Sweet Olive covering acers and acers. When they bloom, I could get drunk:-). I really miss that.

C. praecox is hard to find in the U. S.and they don't have the same smell as I had in China.

Sweet Olive bloom year round here and the one I had in China only bloom in early fall, and it is much more fragrant.

Gardenia in China is cold hardy and very easy to grow. (they pretty much grow on themselves, and Gardenia here only gives me frustration year after year. I have been buying them for 5 years. The first 4 all died. They last one barely hanging in there and gave me one little flower this year.

Sometime I even thought abought flying back to China and smuggling some those flowers myslef.

Kai

    Bookmark   September 13, 2005 at 11:32PM
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michaelk(z8 Oregon)

Yes, I grew up in Hawaii and I now find that the plants that were common "no trouble" plants are now very hard to find and grow and have become an obsession to grow. I'm hoping the Chuck Hayes Gardenias (see other threads) will survive the winters (usually mild here, but I've lost all 5 plants tried so far with the longest lasting one lasting 3 years). My Pikaki (a variety of Jasmine) is doing very well, and is flowering like crazy just now, but it has to be kept potted and brought indoors during the winter. It's smell is potent and wonderful too.

Mike

    Bookmark   September 14, 2005 at 3:19PM
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birdsnblooms

Citrus, Murraya, Jasmines, Gardenias..(indoors)
Nicotiania, Patunia, Mock Orange, roses...(outdoors)

    Bookmark   September 25, 2005 at 10:28PM
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kasiec

Michelia alba
Gardenias
Jasmine (Arabian and Grand Duke)
Brugmansias (night time scent)
Roses
Plumerias
And more...

Kasie

    Bookmark   September 26, 2005 at 1:17AM
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diggerb2(z5oh)

I agree with violet about those hostas. This year we came home from vacation it was 98 degrees and about 90% humidity
too. I had almost 100 scapes in bloom. You could have knocked me over with the wall of fragrance in our back yard.

mock orange has a nice light sweet odor.

milkweed has a heavy vanilla/haw scent that can overwhelm you.

last year i had a honeycomb butterfly bush (didn't make it thru the winter) i had a good honey like fragance. I'm looking for another.

peony is good.

I used to work at a hospital that had lindens lining the parking lot. usually had to go to work early just to sit and sniff up the smell.;/
digger

    Bookmark   September 28, 2005 at 8:12PM
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Hostasandharleys(z7 Ga)

hard to beat a crab apple tree or two when in bloom in the spring.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2005 at 10:11PM
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surfpnsbch(z8 NWFL)

Only one mention of calacanthus (sweet shrub) in all this. My Grandmother had a shrub of it and I remember how wonderful the spicy smell was. I've tried to grow it here in NW Florida but either heat or hurricanes have taken their toll and I haven't been successful so far. Maybe next year.

Also brugs at night and frangipani (most of them) and the gingers AHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

There are so many and don't forget the herbs. Basil, rosemary, thyme, tarragon, etc. etc.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2005 at 11:15AM
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cweathersby

Of the ones I have (that have bloomed so far):
cestrum noctornum
michelia figo
sweet olives
eleagnus
citrus
sambac jasmine
roses
datura
star jasmine
gardenias
daffodils
calycanthus
sweet almond shrub
winter honeysuckle
mahonias
pittosporum

And that was in order. Apparently my winter honeysuckle isn't as fragrant as other people's.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2005 at 10:54PM
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butterfly15_ca(Sunset15 USDA9b)

Plumerias! Even a simple white flowered one is wonderful! The variety 'Aztec Gold' is supposed to smell like peaches.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2005 at 10:24PM
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Udon(14 Thailand)

I'm surprised no one mentioned the Tabernaemontanas. :-)

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 9:00PM
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peaseblossom

Has anyone heard of Alstonia angustiloba (milk flower or pulai tree) growing in the US? It's a very common tree in Asia, especially in Hanoi, Vietnam, where it lines the city streets. It blooms in winter and floods the streets with a tart-sweet fragrance. It holds symbolic importance for the city's residents, much like magnolias do for southerners (for instance).

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   October 17, 2005 at 11:05PM
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kadasuki(z6 NW AR)

Gardenia, magnolias, mimosa, deep purple petunias, tuberose, lillies, and inside my house, my hoya has been indredible the whole summer!
KK

    Bookmark   November 7, 2005 at 5:36PM
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monarda_gw

Tilia -- the Linden (called "Lime" in books but not to be confused with the citrus) tree is surely one of the most fragrant during the brief week or two that it blooms, that is why they have Linden walks and Unter die Linden (grammar?). Eleagnus angustifolia is also fantantasic when its turn comes in late spring. And the more tender loropetalum that I used to smell in North Carolina is penetratingly fragrant -- I think there is a red-flowered one.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 12:52PM
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michelelee(z8 WA)

In my yard..
Dark purple petunia, evening
Evening stock, evening
Mock Orange
Brugmansia, evening
Honeysuckle

Michele

    Bookmark   February 4, 2006 at 9:59PM
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longriver(SF Bay Area)

Hi all. I do not need to make a list. I am agreeable to you mostly. I have a habit to collect cultivars such as Osmanthus and Winter Sweet( or Waxy Plum). My four seasons type Osmanthus is starting to flower now. One of my Winter Sweet is still blooming.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2006 at 8:32PM
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PRO
Nell Jean

Nobody has mentioned the family Narcissus. What a treat to stand downwind of a big swath of 'Sweetness' jonquillas now. Later it's the same with the triandrus 'Thalia' and Paperwhites (Tazettas) are so fragrant as to be distasteful to some people. Oh, and Hyacinths! Blooming now, too.

Why did you ask, Hema? I try to have something fragrant blooming year 'round.

Nell, not an expert

Here is a link that might be useful: Fragrance Year 'round in My Garden

    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 12:03AM
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sweetpea06

Some of my very favorite fragrant flowers;
Old fashioned Dame's Rocket
Russian olive,
Butterfly Bush,
Stargazer lily,
Rugosa Rose,
Pirouette purple double petunia,
Poet Narcissus,
Honeysuckle vine.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2006 at 1:37PM
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lanemoss(z7b)

Summer
Pinks--old-fashioned, clove-scented pinks, on a hot day with the sun on them.
Basket-of-snow alyssum under the same circumstances.
Crimson Glory climbing rose in its first spring bloom.
Sagebrush in the desert.
Petunias at night--particularly old singles--the kind that melt when it rains on 'em--but let 'em melt away for that smell.
Autumn
Dead leaves in piles--most any kind.
Autumn blooming clematis.
Winter
Winter honeysuckle--I just scrambled through a thicket of briars on an old home site to find where that scent was coming from.
Daphne odora reaches out an grabs you by the nose in February--with a clean-winter smell just when you need it.
Spring
Jonquilla with reed like leaves. They grow willingly in old homesteads in the south, when other, fancier plants have died back. (These don't count for the smell dispersal, but they sure smell great.)

No season for me
Hawaiian Pikaki--had a lei of it once, forty years ago and I've never forgotten the smell.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 8:45PM
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kasiec

Hi lanemoss - Pikaki or jasmine sambac...such great scent. Every now and then I'd pick a handful and put them in a glass jar. Makes a room smell nice :)

Kasie

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 9:11PM
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lanemoss(z7b)

Hi Kasie- Thanks so much for the botanical name. I wonder if Jasmine Sambac will grow indoors (like other jasmines)? I'm in 7B and I doubt that it's hearty here. Is it a vine or a shrub? I'll google to find a nursery. I'd love to get that lei again. Thanks again-- Lane

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 9:50PM
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kasiec

Hi Lane - you're very welcome. Try www.logees It's not a vine. It's a shrub and you can control the size with pruning. It comes in single, double bloom and I guess triple (Grand Duke). The one call Grand Duke is , to me, a beautiful carnation like bloom. Also, if you type "jasmine sambac" in the search box of Gardenweb, you'll find threads about this plant posted by people in your similar zone. Good luck and happy hunting.

Kasie

    Bookmark   February 27, 2006 at 11:43PM
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cweathersby

Jasmine sambac will work as a house plant. Just put it in a pot and bring it inside during the winter.
I've got one that lives in the ground on the south side of the house, but that's kind of iffy. I've got another in a pot and it got hit by a hard frost before I brought it in but has grown back since bringing it inside.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 7:50PM
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lanemoss(z7b)

Hi Cweathersby. I see you are also in 7b. The Sambac in a pot was hit, not the one in the ground? I have a very protected spot w/southern exposure. What kind of soil does the Sambac that lives in the ground like? (Hi Kasie--maybe I'll try one of your Grand Dukes from logees off my back porch--yum.) THX all--Lane

    Bookmark   February 28, 2006 at 9:57PM
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bluestarrgallery(zone 7 GA)

White ginger - I remember this from when I lived in Hawaii in the fourth grade - at least I think it was white ginger.

Lavender angustifolia and intermedia varieties.

Rose - Violacea
Rose - Apricot Nectar
Rose - Pink Peace

Jasminum Polyanthum
Cestrum nocturnum

Citrus when in bloom.

I have had Echinacea that have had a wonderful fragrance - not all of them do. Some buddleia do and others don't.

Decidous azalea - not sure which one - it was a native I came across while walking in the Sierra and I don't know the variety.

I am sure there are plenty more I can't think of just now.

Linda

    Bookmark   March 2, 2006 at 7:39PM
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subrosa(PNW7 Canada)

Viola odorata - Sweet Violet. The aroma is fleeting since it temporarily dulls the olfactory nerve. It is one of those fragrances that the perfume industry has never been able to capture. It is the same with Freesia.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 7:32AM
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lifelover1972(5)

Another one that I have not seen mentioned is Sweet Woodruff, Janice Brown Daylily, and let us not forget Lily of the Valley.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2006 at 2:25PM
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RobVFT(London UK)

Wallflowers have a strong Aniseed scent and flowering Skimmia bushes are also nice in the late afternoon/ evening. I'm growing lots of sweet peas on the balcony this summer and went for the ones that said "highly fragranced" so we shall see...

I've also noticed the flowers on my blueberry bushes have a delicate scent but you have to get your nose right in them like you would with violets.

What I'm more interested in is the effect of having too many fragrant plants - would it be like the perfume section in Debenhams (UK Dept. Store) where all the scents combine to create one unpleasantly confused and overpowering smell???

    Bookmark   May 10, 2006 at 8:05AM
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lorinscott_1(z10bSoCal)

And only one mention of viburnum! I toured a home for sale a few weeks ago, and as I opened the doors to the back patio, I noticed a wonderful fragrance. After investigating, I pinpointed it to a shrubby bush with small purple flowers clustered in an ovalish form.....as I exclaimed to a friend about it, a gentleman passing by said it was a viburnum. I've been lusting after it ever since....but don't know the variety.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 2:27PM
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pappu(z5 IL)

Evening scented stock is the most fragrant plant I have grown. A bed of stock can fill the entire yard with heavenly scent.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2006 at 12:42AM
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limequilla

Zone 5

LILIES are blooming! The order of frangrance is:
#1 Trumpets
#2 Orientals
#3 Orienpets -- actually the Orienpets might be #2 since they have 15-20 flowers on a huge thich stem; Orientals are harder for me to grow.

Also, Viburnum carlesii, but that was in the spring.

I have other plants, but the lilies are blooming now and will be for the next month or two -- not much else is frangrant for that long a period in zone 5, except annual Nicotiana and that gets so weedy looking!

For the people in California, and similar climates, the spring blooming tazettas (daffodils like paperwhites, only new and improved in bold, vivid colors) smell glorious. Or not. Some people don't like the smell.

Go back to lilies -- the backyard is so fragrant as soon as I open the door I can smell them! Heaven!

Lime

    Bookmark   July 8, 2006 at 5:53AM
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mucknmire(zone6 NJ)

There are a lot of fragrant plants but some are not nose friendly imo like the Russian olive and linden tree. I don't think anyone mentioned pakalana which grows in Hawaii. I think it's a jasmine and fairly rare now tho leis were made of it way back when. Very heavenly smell, better than pikake any day and a nice yellow green colored flower.

As mentioned white ginger, plumerias and gardenias would be up there as great scents. Orange blossoms and something called mock organge in Hawaii but it's not philadelphus. I think it may have been another jasmine tho it was very vigorous and used as a hedge. The red fruits resembled small oranges. The smell was wonderful.

Here in zone 6, honeysuckle, sweetbay magnolia, wild roses and lavender.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2006 at 8:11AM
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gardentea

In my garden are mock orange, white climbing iceberg, white buterfly ginger, jasmines, basil, mint, lantana, and they are not full matured yet

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 4:19PM
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halaeva(z6 Toronto)

The most fragrant are:
Oriental Lily
Hyacinth
What about Lilies of the Valley? no one mentioned them.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 10:37PM
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Four1982

Dear Sir:
> I read your article on the website about the Four O'clocks and I
had
>never heard or seen one until the early 80's and late 70's in Tucson,
Arizona.
> My wife and I planted some along our trailer and they grew into a
huge,
>vast array of plants. But, I am writing today to mention and
emphasise
strongly
>the strong, sweet fragrance of a Four O,clock. Why it is one of the
most
>beautiful fragrances I have ever experienced and it lasts and lasts
and
lasts.
> I mean, it is like when you leave the house to go to work, it follows
down
>the road.
> You didn't mention it, but I wanted to say this that it may be an
underestimated
>fragrance, when it comes to fragrances, but I'll tell you it really
blessed
>me.
> It is a toss up between the orange blossom and the four o'clock
when
>it comes to fragrances. These are the most two (as far as I know)
sweetest
>scents here and one of the biggest traits is how it lasts and lasts
and
seems
>to be everywhere.(so,),(I)(agree)(with)Carlene(of)(Iowa)(about)(the)four(o'clocks). I don't know if you ever been to Arizona or smelled
the
>orange blossom.
> I am also writing because it is a sentimental thing, about
remembering
>the Four O'clocks in Tucson, Arizona. Thank you for your time and for
reading
>this.
> >

> Sincerely,
>

> Todd DeFrank
> >P.S. I want to say sorry for writing this, because it is not an
inquiry
>or question. But I had to.
> >
> >---------------------------------

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 7:46PM
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tsmith2579(7B)

Brugmansia Charles Grimaldi. One bloom scents my whole yard and can be smelled almost 100 ft away.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2006 at 12:57AM
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plantlovr

Dear four1982 could you please tell me what kind of Four O'clocks you planted that smell so good. What was the name and color? Do they all smell that good or was it just the kind you planted. Thankx

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 10:12AM
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birdsnblooms

Petunia (especially after 4pm) 4 o'clocks, gardenia, citrus, murraya, jasmine, star gazer lilys. Toni

    Bookmark   August 27, 2006 at 8:38PM
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sharkyk

Since you're all fragrant plant fanatics I have to recommend a book:

"Scented Flora of the World" by Roy Genders

If it's out of print, search the used book sites. This book is jammed with thousands of plants, even to the extent of describing fragrance variations within a variety. It also describes in detail the different chemical constituents of plant fragrance, the history of the world fragrance trade and the harvesting of scented oils. Did I mention fragrant leaves and bark?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 12:09PM
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suel41452

The most fragrant flower (outdoors) I have is a purple iris (unknown - I got by mistake at Sam's Club - was supposed to be a blue 2-tone). I only had 20 blooms but the fragrance was BY FAR the most powerful I have ever smelled of any fragrant flower - it blew me away!!!!!
My vote for second is flowering tobacco. I had some in 2 pots on our front porch and when you came in & out in the evening the smell was exquisite.
I have fragrant daylilies, roses, hosta, summer phlox, peonies, butterfly bush, sweet autumn clematis, lilacs, narcissus - but they can't hold a candle to that iris.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2007 at 11:22AM
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suel41452

Forgot to mention it's a Tall Bearded Iris.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2007 at 12:35PM
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fragrant2008

list of most fragrant plants all of which i grow

cestrum nocturnum

ylang ylang

osmanthus fragrans

osmanthus x fortunei

brunfelsia

michelia champaca

michelia figo

Murraya paniculata

Epiphyllum oxypetalum

there from the ones i grow anyway i have lots more but they have not flowered yet

    Bookmark   April 1, 2008 at 7:44PM
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longriver(SF Bay Area)

To me, Chinese classical fragrant orchid has the best fragrance profile. The level of the fragrance is obvious. However, most gardeners in U S do not familiar with this one.

The scent perception to me is superior than that of Michelia alba, O.fragrans, gardenia---etc.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2008 at 3:26AM
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buzzy(8PugetSound)

only one mention of wallflowers and that gardener found the scent like anise...

must disagree, wallflowers fill the spring garden with a lovely sweet perfume like church ladies, the little old ladies of my childhood with blue hair and lavender suits. As sweet and penetrating as talcum powder.

next to wallflowers, Daphne odora, Nicotiana alata (Fragrant Cloud), alyssum - honey,honey,honey! - lilies, especially Casablanca, some Austin roses, Osmanthes delaveyi, Viburnum carlessii or burkwoodii, or a var. which I think is a hybrid between them called "Korean spice" just about to bloom in my garden, a spicy clove wafting scent, fresh!

And freesias! heaven

Sweet william! Dianthus barbatus and other D.s

    Bookmark   April 14, 2008 at 9:12PM
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steve1young(7A)

One of my favorites is Iris pallida 'Variegata'. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out what the smell reminded me of. Was it grape juice? No, not that. Grape Bubble Yum? No, not that either. Then finally I figured it out ... grape lollip! Awesome!! Love the way frangrance stirs memories. ;)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 5:59PM
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terpguy(7)

Hello Everyone! I usually hang around the orchid forum, but came across this thread while trying to search for ideas for the garden I'm planning around my house. Hope you don't mind my resurrecting this *cough* ancient *cough* thread, but it's a great thread with some really good ideas here, wanted to add one more of my own, and I hope to get a few more recommendations for my z7/DC area.

I'm looking for powerful, very pleasantly fragrant plants that would grow in z7. Not too big, can be maintained to 3-5 feet/1-2 meters. I already have a Sweet Autumn clematis that I absolutely love. This is wonderfully fragrant, and I can smell it literally from 100ft/30m away! I'm definitely looking for stuff that can do that, or similar to it...if they exist! I'm very familiar with Osmanthus fragrans, but is can anyone tell me definitively if that is hardy to z7? I'm seeing conflicting reports, which would seem to indicate it's marginally hardy at best.

Many thanks!
Chris

    Bookmark   December 26, 2010 at 5:03PM
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kjbltd_gmail_com

I was in a greenhouse in Springfield, Mo and they had a display of what they called the 3rd most fragrant flower in the world,(this one is grown in Mexico, but would grow in northern conditions) the display went on to list the 10 most fragrant flowers, I am sorry that I did not write them down at that time. So I have been trying to come up with that particular list.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2011 at 5:41PM
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enteogeno_gmail_com

strongest smell of all, called cestrum nocturnum, it only smells at night. it irradiates the smell all over the garden.
from brazil, is called dama da noite.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 8:48AM
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orchidbee

Hi Terpguy,

I don't know if you learned by now if Osmanthus fragans is hardy in zone 7. I think that Altanta is in zone 7 and the botanical garden there has big plantings of O. fragans in the ground. I have seen the plant sold in a number of different nurseries in the Atlanta area including Pikes.

I really enjoyed Winter honeysuckle in Decautur last winter. It is known to be invasive but don't if it is in your area.

cheers

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 9:55PM
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gagnon98(SoCT z6)

In my yard in z6, CT, it's my Conca D'or lilies and in late summer my huge Harlequin Glorybower shrub. It's a mix of spice, jasmine and vanilla to my nose. You can smell the Glorybower when driving into the driveway 150' away. I can smell my lilies in the front yard and they are located in the backyard.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2012 at 6:46PM
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tropicalgardener1212(11)

A. Trees and bushes

1. Scented Bouvardia, Bouvardia longiflora, Bouvardia humboldtii
Perfume Tree, Fagrea berteriana-, large shrub really

2. JOY PERFUME TREE-Michelia champaca, orange-ish, (asia), makes perfume

3. White Champak, Pak-Lan, Banana Shrub, Cempaka Putih, Bai Yu Lan (white-jade flower), Bai Yu Lan, Safa,, champaca 'alba'

Grand Duke Supreme , Jasminum sambac, two inch flowers, newest variety!

Glorious Flower of Cuba , Portlandia grandiflora � Luscious perfume

Mali Chat , Jasminum sambac, rarest form, like stacked hats!

Serpant Hill Rain Tree , Brunfelsia densifolia, , Puerto Rico!

Dwarf Tree Jasmine, Peep Thong, Radermachera Kunming, Family: Bignoniaceae, Thailand, highly scented

Appleblossom , Cassia nodosa hybrid - Pink Shower

Flor de Fuego , Erblichia odorata -, rare, orange scented flowers 6-8 inch smell apricot

Singapore Kopsia, Kopsia singaporensis, white jasmine like, Malaysia

Red Allamanda blanchetii 10 seeds
$4.50

Milky Way Tree , Stemmadenia galeottiana �large white flowers grows well in Florida

Daisy Tree, Montanoa grandiflora (best, look like pom-poms) or Daisy Bush, M hibicifolia (like like white daisies with yellow centers!)

Perfume Flower Tree, Pua Keni Keni, Fagraea berteriana, Family: Loganiaceae, Origin: South Pacific

Fragrant ixora , Ixora fragrans, hard to find! Note: I.jinlaysoniana, a native of Thailand, can become a small tree and has large, fragrant, pure white flowers.

Native Gardenia Atractocarpus 10 seeds

Native Hawaiian Gardenia Nau, , Gardenia brighamii
Family: Rubiaceae, Origin: Hawaii

Heliotrope, Turnsole, Cherry Pie Heliotropium peruviana, Heliotropium arborescens, Zones 10, 11
Note: "alba" variety has white flowers that smell like pure vanilla!

African Gardenia, Mitriostigma axillare, Gardenia citriodora, scent of orange blossom, Africa

Double Rangoon Creeper , Quisqualis �, Thai Double Flower

Italian Jasmine, Jasminum humile, Jasminum giraldi, India, Note: yellow!

Tahiti Gardenia, Gardenia taitensis Tiare Tahiti
Family: Rubiaceae

Scented Daphne, Phaleria clerodendron- -fragrant-rare seed (Australia), smells like jasmine pinapple

White gardenia, forest gardenia, wild gardenia, Gardenia thunbergium, Gardenia thunbergia

Golden Gardenia, Kedah Gardenia, Gardenia tubifera Kula, Gardenia pfordii, Asia, yellowish gardenia, rare

Vietnamese Gardenia, Gardenia (Kailarsenia) vietnamensis

Golden Gardenia
Gardenia tubifera var. kula

White Gem Gardenia duruma � seeds available online

Gardenia volkensii ssp. Spathulifolia, Angola, seeds available online

Gardenia posoqueria (nitida)
Rare gardenia from Africa with star-like tubular flowers.

Wax Jasmine, Australian Wax Jasmine, Jasminum volubile, Jasminum simplicifolium
Note: The variegated form, var. Maculata, has bright leaves dappled lemon-gold, open clusters of quite fragrant white star-like flowers produced irregularly throughout the year.

Snows of Kilimanjaro , Euphorbia leucocephala �

Dwarf Tree Jasmine, Radermachera Kunming, extremely fragrant flowers -

Jasminum dichotomum, blooms all year round!

Gardenia taitensis Heaven Scent (double flower) - grafted

Coffee, Coffea arabica, Ethiopia, tropical, Zone 10-11

Pachypodium rutenbergianum, Magagascar, semi-arid, spikes on trunk

Perfume Jasmin, Jasminum tortuosum, true tropical jasmin

Lilac Tree
Lonchocarpus violaceus -

Blackberry Jam Fruit, Jasmin de rosa, Randia formosa, Mussaenda formosa, Randia mussaenda

Cashmere (Cashmir) bouquet, Glory Bower, Clerodendron
Clerodendrum bunge, Family: Verbenaceae, China, already have the Phillino variety, leaves that smell like skunk!

Chinaberry Tree, Indian Lilac, Pride of India, White Cedar, Melia azedarach, purple, white scented flowers!

Fountain Clerodendrum, Clerodendron, Tube Flower
Clerodendrum minahasse, Family: Verbenaceae

Native Australian gardenia, Larsenakia ochreata

Morning, Noon and Night, Brunfelsia floribunda, Family: Solanaceae), scented, unlike Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow!

Winter honeysuckle, Lonicera fragrantissima, China, likes well drained soil

Cestrum aurnantiacum, Guatemala, orange, night scented

Tube Flower, Fountain Clerodendrum
Latin Name: Clerodendrum minahassae

Panama Rose , Rondeletia leucophylla � reddish flowers scented after dark!

Ashoka Tree, Saraca bijuga red-orange flowers, try to get dwarf! African rainforest

Arbor Tristis, Sad tree, Night Jasmine, Parijat, Nyctanthes arbor-tristis, Family: Verbenaceae, South Asia, India

Japanese allspice, Chimonanthus praecox also known as Japanese allspice, slow growing, may not do well in heat?

Silver thorn, Elaeagnus pungens , grows in Florida, mounding, ugly bush, amazing scented flowers. Get 'Maculata'-variegaed variety!

Grey Milkwood, Sea Mango, Pong Pong Tree
Cerbera odollam, Family: Apocynaceae, Asia

Conger Yellow Sweet Olive, fragrans 'Conger Yellow' Zones 9-11, Monrovia nursery.

Lily of the Valle Tree, Clethra arborea

Winters Bark, Drimys winteri, Bornea

Yellow bird of paradise, Caesalpinia mexicana - fragrant Yellow, Mexico

Hebe sp.
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Veronica
Origin: New Zealand

Turraea floribunda, Africa, very hard to find!

B. Vines

Easter Lillie Vine, Beaumontia grandiflora

Climbing Oleander, Strophanthus gratus � usually pinkish

Frilly Orchid Vine, BAUHINIA YUNNANENSIS-rare
Orange Blossom, Luzuriaga radicans, Chillean, white

Frangipani vine, Chonemorpha fragrans, Chonemorpha macrophylla, Family: Apocynaceae
Origin: India

Easter Lillie Vine, Beaumontia grandiflora, tropical, scented

Pink Trumpet Vine, St. Johns Creeper, Podranea ricasoliana, free flowering! Africa

Dregea corrugata (Wattakaka sinensis), tropical, white, like hoya, scented.

Bluegrape jasmine , Jasminum adenophyllum, India, vine

Yellow Jasmine, Jasminum humile - Italian jasmine, make perfume!

C. Seeds/Bulbs

Philippine Lily , Lilium philippinense 8 seeds

Amaryllis Hippeastrum Jaguar 20 seeds

    Bookmark   February 15, 2013 at 11:29AM
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kelp

Ptelea trifoliata (Wafer Ash, Hoptree) Simply delicious!
Lilac 'Beauty of Moscow' The way lilacs should smell.
Peony 'Philippe Rivoire' An intense rose scent.
Summersweet 'Hummingbird' A strong, yet gentle, sweet fragrance.
Lonicera periclymenum You'll open your windows every night to enjoy this.
Elderberry 'Black Lace' An anise/licorice fragrance wafts across the yard.
Rosa 'Tamora', and 'Zephirine Drouhin'
Phlox divaricata 'Blue Moon', P. paniculata 'Fairy's Petticoat', 'Cinderella', and 'Mile High Pink'
Tilia americana (American linden)
Chionanthus virginicus (Old Man's Beard) WOW!
Epigaea repens (Mayflower) A bit like jasmine.
Disporum maculatum (Fairy Bells, Nodding Mandarin) You won't be able to get enough of this.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2013 at 8:18PM
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