Zone 8 Hardy Fragrant Plants

spring_chickenJuly 16, 2006

What are your favorite fragrant plants? What are their habits, and are they perrienials? I recently found a hardy Gardenia, and I am in love with the smell. It reminds me of Hawaii! How about you?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I love gardenias too. These are all perennials-

Native fragrant plant- False Solomon's Seal, wonderful, google photo
Herb- Valerian, lavender (careful, some are not hardy)

Shrubs etc that waft-
Clove Currant- Crandall- small yellow flowers
Eleagnus ebbingei
Dioscorea villosa- cinnamon vine

Other fragrant shrubs-
Daphne odora- likes shade, good drainage
Daphne x caucasius Summer Ice- keeps blooming all summer until frost
Lonicera syringantha- small purple flowers

Narcissus (daffodils)- Geranium, many others. Poisonous to animals so they return well
Lilies- Oriental, Trumpet. I've had better success planting the bulbs in pots in the fall and keeping them in a cold but non-freezing garage until spring then planting out then
Daylily Hemerocallis citrina- the lemon lily, very fragrant and earlier than regular daylilies

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 5:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Shrub-tree harlequin glorybower (Clerodendrum trichotomum) is coming into bloom around here now, you might want to look for that one at a nursery. It really carries.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 1:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Philadelphus right now

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 1:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
novita(SWB.C. z8)

I had to go right out and have a sniff! The strongest scent is Spanish broom - wafts all over the garden. I agree about the lilies - I have all mine in pots except for some robust Asiatics. Trumpets are out now, smell gorgeous.
sweet peas in a raised bed - they smell delicious!
not out right now, but Fringe Cups are native (I think!)and smell nice.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 11:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Spanish broom (Spartium) is on the weed control board poop list down here.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2006 at 11:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I was recently given a glorybower, but I have never smelled one to my knowledge. I have probably seen one, but I didn't know the name. So far mine is too little to bloom.

What are the Daphnes like? I looked them up, and the one says short lived, and the other has variegated leaves, and requires full sun. I have a spot I would love to put one where it is very dry (in the crook of the house), but easy to water, and only gets late afternoon sun (west side) Is there one that will do well there, maybe without watering, and has rebloom, and regular leaves? Wow, I know I ask for a lot, but I am willing to settle.

My Philadelphus has sadly already finished blooming.

I don't think I have seen a Lonicera syringantha in person either. How well do they do? What size do they reach?

Thanks - Paul

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 2:12AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hemnancy(z8 PNW)

Paul- My Daphne odora is on the north side of the house in a raised bed with railroad tie sides, so it has little sun and sharp drainage. I don't actually get around to watering there much if at all. I've had it 9 years so I'll assume it really likes where it is. It gets bigger every year but they only bloom in spring. D. Summer Ice doesn't waft like odora but keeps flowers on it all summer. It is in sun a good part of the day. After 4 years it is 3x3' and like a big bouquet. It also has good drainage being on a slope. I also have D. Lawrence Crocker and D. tangutica which only bloom in spring, and I had but lost D. bholua, cneorum, Brigg's Moonlight, and collina.

As for Lonicera syringantha (lilac-flowered) it is a rangy plant with sparse dull foliage, and only blooms in spring. It has red berries on it now. I'm thinking of trying to tie it up to some kind of trellis since it has long floppy branches going every which way. But it does smell really good. Maybe I need to cut it back more.

The Osmanthuses have nice glossy foliage, and so does another fragrant shrub, Sarcococca ruscifolia. I haven't had them very long so I don't know much about them yet, but Sarcococca smells wonderful too.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 4:27AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
albertine(z5b Idaho)

Michelia yunnanensis is wonderful - easy to grow. Rhododendron fortunei and decorum are a couple fragrant varieties that have a strong heavenly scent that carries. Greer has some that are bloomimg size. Clematis armandii is good and early, Prunus mume is divine and starts in February.
I have a daphne odora marginata that is in the doggie area and gets the hose pulled over it regularly. It is doing fine - it bends but doesn't break - you see them in lots of landscapes. My daphne retusa is doing well too.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 11:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Magnolia Society (and some others) going with merging of MIchelia into Magnolia, in which case you have Magnolia yunnanensis. Discussion is on their web site, DNA analysis showed Michelia (and other genera) had very definite Magnolia DNA; also explains why morphological disctinctions used not valid.

Nurseries would benefit from picking up on this because public has heard of magnolias.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 2:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jennie(8 WA)

My Hebe salcifolia (sp?) is sweetly fragrant, though it doesn't waft far.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 10:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

That's salicifolia, as in willowlike, Salix being the genus of willows. Hebe salicifolia has narrow (willowlike) leaves.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 11:16PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Lilacs! I love my 'Miss Kim's compact habit and fragrance. Many of the older French hybrids are even more fragrant.

Lily of the Valley are very invasive but as groundcover in a large pot they wouldn't eat your yard and the fragrance is amazing. Too bad they bloom such a short time.

Hyacinths are very fragrant and fully hardy bulbs here. They get more attractive as the years go on to me, more informal looking. I buy half dead ones from big boxes and grocery stores cheap and plant them and have them all over the yard.

I want a 'Summer Ice' Daphne but can't find one for a reasonable price. :(

Oriental Lilies do great for me in the ground. Easter Lilies have faded away though, after a few years. They should be fine here.

Some Clematis are fragrant in addition to Armandii the Viticella 'Betty Corning' is fragrant. Doesn't waft across the yard but it is sweet.

Many Roses are fragrant, you can smell them at Heritage in St. Paul from the road. I have 'Midnight Blue' newly planted and I can smell it quite a ways away. Can't wait until it matures. Outstanding color and disease resistance too.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 12:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

"What are the Daphnes like? I looked them up, and the one says short lived, and the other has variegated leaves, and requires full sun."

Oh, goodness. Our Daphne here in Salem Oregon is one of my favorite plants. Yes, yes, yes, try it. Ours is under the eves, and only gets some morning direct sun. It is the varigated kind. I'm having so much fun cutting pieces off and trying to get them to grow. It is difficult for me, but I've got two new starts out in the yard. Wish me luck.

I'm not sure what it is called, exactly, but we have something that looks like Hyacinth that blooms in the spring, and it has a wonderful smell. Our Grape Hyacinth doesn't smell good, though. I'm not a fan of Grape Hyacinth. :P I found some Hyacinth at the store, and it smelled great, too. Maybe you could just smell flowers at a nursery to find the ones you like. Someday I'd like to just go to the store and buy plants by how nice they smell. :)


    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 3:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love the common honeysuckle growing next to my patio. Smells wonderful, especially in the evening when I'm most likely to be sitting there enjoying the scene.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 7:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Grape Hyacinth is Muscari armeniacum and it is a pretty blue but horribly invasive. I've never noticed a scent. I've been ripping it out for years.

Hyacinths (Hyacinthus orientalis and cultivars) are not invasive and smell heavenly.

Buddleia, Butterfly Bushes smell great but are a problem in some areas

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 7:54PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

There are other species of Muscari in gardens here besides M. armeniacum.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 8:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Flower scent tends to be pretty subjective and also rather heavily influenced by site conditions - what smells strongly fragrant in one garden to one nose may have little scent or be mildly offensive in another location and to another nose :-) And can vary clonally - sweet autumn clematis is one that seems to have a wide range of fragrance intensities, depending on origin.

The strongest, furthest reaching fragrances in my own garden are the sarcococca (sweet box) in winter and the honeysuckles in summer. Roses are always a good choice, depending on cultivar, but you need to be up close and personal to really get the full effect :-)

I am also very fond of the early spring scent of boxleaf azara - a chocolate-y aroma that is light and very pleasing. Same with some of the early flowering viburnums - juddii, carlesii, carlcephalum.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 10:58AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hostaguy(USDA 8)

How timely, I've been in a SMELLY mood all year and learning what is fragrant.

This years obsession started with waft of Deciduous Azaleas on a night walk in early spring - I didn't know they were fragrant, but boy... some are intoxicating!

I made and effort to go to all the nurseries when the deciduous Azaleas were blooming this year, so I could smell and find the most fragrant. Plants pass genetics, so some are more genetically fragrant than others that are supposed to be fragrant - so best time to choose is peak bloom time.

Plants that stink! (in a good way)

Azalea Luteum (Luteum means yellow in latin - Very Fragrant)
Washington State Centennial Azalea
Mt. St. Helens Azalea
Exbury Azalea
Rhododendron arborescens . . Sweet Azalea
Rhododendron alabamense . . Alabama Azalea
Rhododendron austrinum

All the Daphne's! (Downside - Short lived due to a virus, Poisonous, Fussy - don't like to be moved)
Just bought a Russian Daphne (Daphne Caucasica) supposed to bloom through summer, it is so far!

Michelia figo - Banana Shrub, Port Wine Magnolia (I can't find one here)
Chimonanthus praecox - Fragrant Wintersweet Calycanthaceae

Sweet Tea Olive - Osmanthus (readily available)
Osmanthus burkwoodii (Wonderfull hedge! - Not very common, but should be!)


Nicotiana - Fragrant Tobacco

Some common Fragrant Hostas
Hosta Culitvar 'Guacomle'
Hosta Cultivar 'Fragrant Bouquet'
Hosta Cultivar 'Royal Standard'
Hosta Cultivar 'Honeybells'
Hosta Cultivar 'Sugar and Cream'
Hosta Cultivar 'So Sweet'
Hosta Cultivar 'Aphrodite'
Hosta Cultivar 'Hoosier Harmony'
Hosta Cultivar 'Fried Bananas'
Hosta 'Plantaginea'

Star Jasmine (fairly hardy)

Most Oriental Lilies

Some Mock Oranges (buy when in bloom to get maximum smell)

Lilacs (of course!) Miss Kim, Korean lilac, Standard oldies

Gardenia 'Chuck Hayes - Oregon Gardenia' (Double Flowering)
Gardenia 'Kleims Hardy' (Single flowering)

I really like wooly thyme (seems to waft)

Passion Vines


Some Wisteria (buy when blooming - plant far away from your house foundation)

Viola Odorata

Favorite right now is: Voodoo (Beautiful colors and fragrant)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 11:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Yes, bboy, I know there are more Muscaris but by far, armeniacum is the most common.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 12:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hemnancy(z8 PNW)

There are some fragrant Muscari like Golden Fragrance, and M. ambrosiacum- I have this one, it smells great but doesn't spread rapidly like M. armeniacum.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 4:24AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There's some great recommendations there. Thanks everyone.

HostaGuy mentions that wisteria needs to be planted away from the foundation. How far? I would love it on the corner of my porch, about 6 feet from my foundation. Far enough to pull that off?

Thanks again everyone! - Paul

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 4:26AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

Unless your porch is built to withstand an elephant dropping on it from the sky don't plant Wisteria on it or that close to your house.

It can cover a 60' tree and get trunks 6" across. It is a huge vigorous vine and has collapsed many a porch, arbor or trellis.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 11:43AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Wisterias are kept in line with twice yearly pruning. That is how wisteria trees are maintained, likewise one trained onto a structure can be kept small if kept up with. They flower on spurs, as do orchard apple trees. Pruning back of new growth in summer to control habit does not interfere with flowering.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 12:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
puppy3(z8 PNW)

"Wisterias are kept in line with twice yearly pruning" BBoy, I agree with this to a point. I had wisteria growing over my arbor for about 9yrs. Then I got so sick of pruning it at least once weekly so visitors could get to the front door it had to come down. Yes, I do miss the beautiful blooms just not the pruning;) Laurie

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 5:07PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I used to have a Wisteria planted by my deck and it tried to take over the deck every year, so I dug it up and moved it to a place by itself in the lawn, held up by a metal T-stake. It still tries to act like an octopus but I chop off the excess growth. I think it actually blooms better now.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2006 at 5:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
buyorsell888(Zone 8 Portland OR)

I found a 'Summer Ice' Daphne at Shortys on Mill Plain in Vancouver yesterday for $14.99 in case anyone else wants this fragrant long blooming Daphne.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2006 at 11:34AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
nwkrys(z8 OR)

I have a two year old Clematis Rubromarginata with a lovely fragarance that fills my back yard each morning. This is not a traditional large flowered variety but with small leaves and white/magenta colored flowers. It covers an ugly fence with foilage and the charming subtle flowers. Has a long summer bloom period too. Much more fragarant than Betty Corning or Olgae.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2006 at 2:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tallclover(Zone 8 Maritime Pacific NW)

Fragrance is such an added dimension to any garden. I listed my favorites for the Pacific Northwest Zone 8 below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Planting Perfume and Memories: Fragrant plants you won't soon forget.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2008 at 4:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The Incense Rose = Rosa primula has small bright yellow flowers but it is the foliage that give it a WOW factor.
I was sitting on a bench at a nursery and I wondered if a Buddhist temple was located near by, for there was a strong scent of incense wafting around me. I looked around and saw that on either side of the bench were two pots of Rosa primula.
It has attractive foliage that is highly scented.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 8:28PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
princessgrace79(8 PNW)

I have star jasmine growing in a wine barrel up the front of my house and it smells amazing right now! the bloom also lasts a few weeks and is evergreen. I've had the plant for 7 years and I don't know how long it was there before we bought the house but its fairly old, and its lived just fine here in z8

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I would add that currently Oriental lily 'Stargazer' & tall garden phlox are a lovely combination in our side yard.

It took me a few days to figure out the lilies were the source of the fabulous additional fragrance as I walked past the phlox. I had forgotten where I placed the large pot of them after we moved last summer.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 8:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Karchita(WA Z8)

Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) Light and lovely scent that fills my yard in January and February.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2014 at 2:52AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
CathyJ(USDA-8 West WA)

Clerodendrum trichotomum, actually a small tree or shrub. Currently in bloom, heavenly fragrance all over our half-acre back yard.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2014 at 5:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
daphnexduck(Z8 Tacoma, WA)

I have a Daphne odora marginata that I planted maybe 20 years ago even though the experts say Daphnes are short-lived and difficult. (My name is Daphne so I had to have one!) It is planted on the west side of my house and now gets very little sun since the pear tree above it has grown so much. I have watered very little the last few years and it is still quite healthy. (I read somewhere that Daphnes die more from overwatering than anything else.) I usually pick a few blooms to bring in the house and they will scent the whole room.

Some bearded iris are very fragrant. A friend let me pick a beautiful bouquet of them for my house, and the following day my living room was full of the loveliest, light scent. It took me a while to figure out that the iris were scented, as I had never heard of this before.

The iris growers don't care about fragrance, so they don't make mention of it in catalogs. (I got this info from one of the owners of a huge iris nursery. He seemed annoyed that I wads bothering him with a question about fragrance !!!) You'll have to find iris in bloom iin the spring and sniff yourself or get recommendations from other gardeners. Make a note of the variety and then order that type for the following year.

I also have a scented camellia (pale pink). The tag said 'fragrant' so I bought it even though I was very sceptical. Since I love camellias, I thought I'd give it a try since I knew I would like the plant, scented or not. I planted it several years ago next to my front steps where it didn't get much sun until it got tall, but now it is over 8' and had a ton of blooms last year. The scent is only noticeable outside when the temperature is warm, but then it is lovely.

    Bookmark   December 31, 2014 at 6:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

One of my favorites is Phlomis fruiticosa. Got a cutting from the Abundant Life garden when they were still in Port Townsend. The flowers waft fragrance in the evening and up close during the day or in an arrangement. Kids like to suck the nectar from the flowers. The original plant grew to about 3 foot high by 4 foot. They root very easily. The original plant and cuttings at a school garden have survived temps to 10 degrees and perhaps lower.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2015 at 1:23AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
evergreens for by gate
I have a couple of Columnar Dwarf Siberian Dogwood...
Anyone "wintersowing" tomatoes in the PNW?
I wintersow/spring sow everything else and have for...
Crape Myrtles in PNW - trick to get them to bloom?
I have three Crape Myrtles I planted that have been...
Compost Bin Advice
After researching the costs of materials and help to...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™