fragrant tropical plants

summeronmymind(7)March 11, 2006

I'd welcome any suggestions on pleasantly fragrant plants for my tropicalesque garden. (I say "pleasantly" because I don't want any that stink!) Does anybody have an absolute favorite?

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vancouverislandgirl(Zone 8 Chemainus)

I also love sweet smelling plants in my "jungle"! Although not a true tropicalesque, my absolutely favorite smell is from my white 'Casablanca' oriental lilies. They do grow gigantic and their huge crisp, white flowers do look very well matched next to large leafed partners like bananas.

If you get alot of summer heat then you should try some gingers. Most varieties I have tried smell very sweet in the fall when they bloom for me.

And if you don't mind some annuals, both heliotrope and nicotiana (the large species) have intoxicating scents.

Cheers from the island

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 12:13AM
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Vancouver Island Girl - Do you mean day lilies?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 2:42AM
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vancouverislandgirl(Zone 8 Chemainus)

No, I am refering to the summer bulb-Oriental lilies. Not at all like a daylily. Check out Gardenweb's hortiplex under lilium 'casablanca' or under summer blooming lilies page 10. They are hardy down to zone 3 and very easy to grow. Their only requirement is a sunny spot and good drainage as they can rot in the winter if it is boggy.

Although the bulbs are somewhat pricy they do multiply. I would recommend starting with a clump of 3 or more bulbs to make a nice show. After a year or two they get absolutely HUGE! You won't be dissappointed.


Here is a link that might be useful: Casablanca

    Bookmark   March 12, 2006 at 7:18PM
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You could try tuberoses. I love their smell-totally reminds me of Hawaii,as well as the scent of plumerias. Unfortunately,I don't seem to have luck with them blooming for me. Once one bloomed,right before I had to bring them in for the winter,so of course the plant freaked out and I lost the buds. I've had a little more luck with the plumeria,though,although not by much. I've gotten my yellow ones to bloom,although they don't bloom till August or September,and then I have to bring them in in October.The scent is incredible. The red and pink have never bloomed. Georgeous foliage,though. Maybe you would have better luck with these plants,though.
You could try jasmine,gardenias,brugmansias(angels trumpets),datura,passionflowers,and like mentioned,nicotanias,gingers, and lilies. My favorite is the 'Stargazer' lily. I also have planted lilies;'Monte Negro',which is deep red,and 'Cote De Azur',which is hot pink,and they are both supposed to be fragrant. Gardening catalogs have a lot of fragrant lilies.
I've heard pineapple lillies(Eucomis) are fragrant and they look very exotic. I've also heard that you can grow ylang ylang and champaca trees in pots.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 8:15PM
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There are also very very fragrant chinese orchids

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 10:35PM
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butterfly15_ca(Sunset15 USDA9b)

Plumerias and angel wing jasmine smell wonderful!

    Bookmark   March 23, 2006 at 10:46AM
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I can get a couple of flushes of bloom from border-planted Cestrum nocturnum (night jessamine) which has a fantastic sweet fragrance. Brugmansias overwintered in a cool crawl space also flower well here. Zaluzianskya is a small, low-growing plant with sweet-spicily fragrant blooms.

Since pleasant scent is highly subjective, anyone worried about plants that "stink" should test out candidates before planting them, as people with this concern often object to a number of fragrances that most find pleasing.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2006 at 9:07AM
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Check out Brunfelsia - fantastic, knock-your-socks-off fragrance!

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 9:57PM
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unautre(8B San Antonio TX)

I love my Colocasia "black stem". The yellow flowers last only 1 day (multiple blooms per summer) but the scent fills my backyard. It's sophisticated scent. Not flowery or fruity, kinda peppery and complex.

And the foliage is very attractive. Black stems, dark green leaves.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2006 at 10:18PM
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Thanks to all! I ordered 3 Casablanca lilies from Breck's, and I'm planning to take other suggestions, as well! I also will try moonflowers, although I'm not always lucky with them. However, when they bloom, they're wonderful! Oh, Eric - I'm not prone to have a singular dislike to popular fragrances, but thanks for the observation and suggestions.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2006 at 4:34PM
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bahia(SF Bay Area)

Brugmansia is certainly a good candidate, with 'Charles Grimaldi' my personal favorite. Nicotiana sylvestris is my favorite of all Nicotiana, both for the incredible fragrance and tropical foliage. Star Jasmine/Trachelospermum jasminoides and Jasminum polyanthemum are two very fragrant vines much used here in California for summer/winter bloom. Another couple of fragrant vines would include Mandevillea laxa. A potted Lemon tree is also heavenly for fragrance. Of the easier to grow Gingers, Hedychium flavum and H. gardnerianum are always reliable for fragrance and bloom here in northern California. Not really tropical, but bulbs like Amaryllis belladonna and Freesia are both very fragrant. We don't do as well with Tuberose here along the bay because it doesn't really ever get hot in summer here. Peppermint Geranium is a great tropical foliage plant that is great in pots or where it can be brushed against, as is the Breath of Heaven plant, Coleonemum pulchrum. ("Sunset Gold' is a particularly nice dwarfer growing cultivar with showy lime green/chartreuse foliage. I also highly recommend some of the Mint Bushes such as Prostranthera rotundifolia for those in Mediterannean climates where it grows so well, and is in full purple bloom right now.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2006 at 10:51PM
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This thread is terrific! Thanks for the suggestions. There are many plants mentioned above that I haven't tried, and I also have stumbled onto an old thread called Fragrances That Waft. So much to look forward to!!

    Bookmark   May 5, 2006 at 4:58PM
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