ID help - chinese perfume look alike but very expensive

phalden(z9 CA)October 27, 2008

Anyone know what this plant is called? I have been trying to ID it for a few years now. I had ordered the seeds from JL Hudson, Seedsman many years ago and forgot to write down the name. I've tried searching through JL Hudson but no luck yet. Seeds come and go so it may not be offered anymore.

It's very similar looking to the Chinese perfume flower - Aglaia odorata, but the flowers are white and in bunches not elongate clusters. It has a wonderful perfume fragrance but not fruity like the champaca.

I came across a smaller but mature size blooming plant at a local plaza center with a marked price of over $100!!! But the seller does not know the English name but there was a Chinese name written on the tag. A friend translated for me to mean "nine mile fragrance" or fragrant. The plant doesn't appear to be that super fragrant. You have to be near it to smell the fragrance. It's not like a tuberose or night blooming jasmine where the fragrance will fill a house. But then again I haven't cut off a flower bunch to put in the house yet. I'll try that this week for my own curiosity.

Mine is 30 inches tall in a 8" pot. I'm very afraid to repot to a bigger size. Seems happy to be pot bound.

Observed characteristics:

1. Does not like to be distributed. It'll pout and may not grow if not careful during potting. I learned the hard way and is hoping a second plant I had repotted will grow eventually but it's leafless for almost a year now but the main stems is still alive because it's still supple and I can see the inner green bark when I try to scrape a little off the main stem.

2. The flower clusters may form but never flower for a long time. The flowers does not bloom all at once. The only plant I have now had flower clusters since last November and only opened a single flower with the rest refusing to bloom. But it's happy this year and started blooming since this month from the same flower clusters that did not open from last November and also has new flower clusters.

A very fiesty plant but it's very interesting. Thanks for reading.

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    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 1:38AM
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phalden(z9 CA)

Thank you, nomadic!!

I actually came across mock orange before but I can't remember why I missed it.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 3:30AM
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longriver(SF Bay Area)

This plant called 'Nine Miles Fragrance' in China. It grows all over at northern part of Taiwan. In Taiwan, the flower clusters bloom prolifically. However in my cooler home, it blooms sparsely. The clusters were observed to be held over next year to bloom.

It can set seeds in Taiwan and the seed-droppings would develop many seedlings under the mother bush.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 9:03PM
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