flowers that should be fragrant but not

orchidbeeOctober 17, 2011


I might be fun and interesting to list and compile plants whose flowers should be fragrant by virtue of appearance, name, or taxonomy.

Why do plant's give up fragrance in their flowers? Many plants have flowers with no nectar (1/3 of orchids or about 10,000 species lack nectar) Research has shown that plants with flowers that lack nectar out cross more often. This is because the pollinator moves on after sampling a flower or two without nectar, so visit more plants per foraging bout. Pollinators that stay on the bush and move flower to flower are picking up and delivering pollen from of the same plant promoting self pollination which results in a narrower gene pool.

But what could be the selective advantage of giving up fragrance. For instance all Plumaria have fragrance except P. pudica. Why was fragrance selected against in this species?

Here are some to begin with. I am thinking mainly of plants that have not been messed with by man and woman.

Plumaria pudica

Wrightia antisyphilitica

Thunberia fragrans

Rhondolettia fragrans

Kopsia fruticosa

Happy Sniffing

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I will say:
Dombeya seminole
Desert rose

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 11:47AM
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mrao77(TX US zone 7)

One I can think of right away is Tabernaemontana divartica "flore pleno", supposed to be fragrant, but I have never gotten even a whiff of it! It is a beautiful, white, whorled flower, looks like gardenia, but no fragrance :(
Even the single whorl variety, pinwheel flower, is not frargrant, although it is touted to be by most nurseries!

    Bookmark   November 1, 2011 at 3:34PM
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musaboru(Inland Calif.)

Hi Mrao77,
I had T. divaricata 'Flore Pleno' from AlmostEden and was able to smell it. It was a little bit spicy, actually forgot what it smells like exactly, but it definitely was nothing to write home about. In the early morning or dusk was when I can sense it. So weak I had to put my nose up right next to it.

I wish Ranunculus were fragrant, these are very floriferous and easy to grow.

Adeniums were not known to produce any fragrance flowers at all. But recently, Thai breeders were able to develop scented ones. This I find amazing and perhaps with enough breeding, many scentless plants can be selected to develop a scent.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2011 at 11:46AM
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