Rondeletia splendens finally caught a whiff

Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)October 6, 2011

I finally detected a noticeable odor coming from my lone Rondeletia splendens (Panama Rose) bloom last night! It was around 10:30 and the first thing that came to mind was black licorice jelly beans. It wasn't a strong scent and it might have gotten stronger during the night but I was just happy to finally smell something.

I'm hoping when I get multiple blooms open that the scent will be stronger.


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Robert, thanks for your post. I have also been trying to experience the elusive scent of R. splendens. I bought a plant after hearing that it was a botanist friend's favorite fragrance. I think that I tried to detect a scent early in the evening but not as late you did. I'll try at later in the evening the next time it flowers.

I have a Brunfelsia diversiflora that seems to produce more of it sweet spicy scent about 9pm

    Bookmark   October 9, 2011 at 6:01PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Hi, orchidbee!

I caught another whiff this morning before the sun came up. I'm still going with black jelly beans for now. ;)

I've noticed my Charles Grimaldi Brugmansia (angel trumpet) has started pumping out fragrance earlier and earlier. Last night I could smell it around 5:30pm.

Thanks for the Brunfelsia info. Do you have B. densiflora/densifolia? I've been curious about that one since I've heard it blooms freely and I'm still waiting on my B. nitida, lactea and gigantea to bloom!
Do you like densiflora's scent?


    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 9:40AM
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Hi Robert,

I wonder what the pollinator(s) of Rondelettia splendens, with its black jelly bean scent, might be? Goth kids??

Yes I have a Brunfelsia densiflora and I like the scent. It is spicer than other Brunfelsias that I have smelled. B. densifolia usually has flowers which is the same flowering pattern as my B. lactea but quite different from B. nitida which is a pulse bloomer. All of B. nitida flowers open together are a present only for a few days. Then there no flowers for a while (perhaps a few months) and then it flowers again. Having so many flowers open at the same time creates a lot of fragrance.

I have a large wonderfully scented Brunfelsia that was sold as B. pilosa. It is not pilose (covered with small hairs) so it probably was misidentified. I am a bit confused by the botanical identity of Brunfelsias such as the yesterday today and tomorrow species, some of which are fragrant but others not. Brunfelsias should be a separate post.


    Bookmark   October 11, 2011 at 10:22AM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

I've changed my mind. I had several flowers open last night and the scent reminded me of Sassafras. Perhaps the goth kids drink old fashioned root beer as they're pollinating the flowers? ;)

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 2:28PM
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ladylotus(Z3/4 ND)

The smell you are describing from the Rondeletia splendens (Panama Rose) sounds rather interesting. Is it an easy plant to grow? You guys/gals all have really interesting plants that you all find. I'm really enjoying reading all your posts.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2011 at 6:32PM
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Sassafras is pleasant, Black jelly bean fragrance is interesting. But have you told us if the fragrance is appealing, rather than just not odd? Recall my botanist friend told me it was his favorite flower fragrance. Because youâÂÂve raised this topic I urgently need to find a plant in bloom to sniff some evening. It is not so common. Mine looks as if someone really neglected it! ItâÂÂs a bunch of sticks, like a temperate shrub out of leaf in winter.
Regretably plant nurseries are closed at night. I might be tempted to sneak in under the cover of darkness to smell Rhondoletia splendens. Obviously this could go very wrong. "But officer, I was just smelling the Rhondetia splendens". Probably few people have been jailed for breaking, entering to snort a flowerâÂÂs fragrance.

I guess I need to find one to buy. Ladylotus, I will tell you where to find one when I find a source. Oh, Robert may recall where he got his.

Happy sniffing

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 7:20PM
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kemistry(8 - Oregon)

I got mine from Accents for home and garden. I believe Robert got his from Almost Eden? Both places are recommended.

Orchidbee.. you seem to grow many brunfelsia, which brunfelsia has the best fragrance in your opinion?

- Toai

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 7:10PM
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Hello Kemistry,

Yes I really like Brunfelsias. My current favorite is probably B. abbotii. My plant came from Boyton Botanical, a wholesale nursery in Palm Beach Co. and was sold as B. pilosa which is a multicolored species. B. abbottii has large white flowers that age to cream. The leaves are bit leathery an lance shaped. I matched it with a Scott Zona photo on flicker. Scott is a PhD botanist knows plants including ornamentals so it is probably a good name.

I am not really confident of most of the names that these plants are sold under. There is some scientific literature and the genus, which I should try to get.

All of them that I have met, except some of the yesterday today and tomorrow species, have appealing fragrances. Some multicolored flower species have fragrance while others do not. I have a fairly new multicolored one sold as B. australis, which is fragrant during the day.

Happy Sniffing.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 10:49PM
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Robert (zone 7a, Oklahoma)

Hello, everyone!

I'm glad my post is encouraging illicit behavior. ;)
Orchidbee we'll visit you in jail with tales of other night blooming beauties worthy of losing your freedom over.

Now to answer some questions.

So far Rondeletia splendens has been a very easy plant for me to grow. It gets full sun for a couple of hours in the morn then filtered sun the rest of the day.
The blooms appear at the very tips of the branches.
So far I've found the scent pleasant, though odd, but it hasn't wafted for me yet. I have to stick my nose in the blooms to enjoy their fragrance.
As Kemistry pointed out I got mine from Almost Eden and it was a large, healthy plant so I would recommend them over Pepper's Greenhouses (Accents for Home and Garden) if you're looking for a larger plant (of course I just checked and Almost Eden is currently sold out). :(
Maybe due to my posting? Laugh.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2011 at 10:06AM
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