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Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Posted by barkingdogwoods 8a DFW (My Page) on
Sat, Jan 30, 10 at 23:07

Hi y'all -

I was reading Lou's thread about sweet olives, and then cweatherby's comments about planting just about anything fragrant. I, too, love fragrant plants - foliage as well as flowers - so am looking for suggestions, especially for shrubs and trees. This is for a garden in Wood county, with sandy soil that I presume is acidic :)

As an aside - Wednesday I was doing some gardening and I smelled what I thought was Earl Grey tea - it was driving me nuts! I think I've isolated it to one of my winter honeysuckles - one smells like gardenias, but the other one seems to smell like Earl Grey, at least from a distance!

The fragrant shrubs I have are:
: sweet olive
: winter honeysuckle
: banana shrub
: mock orange (I think I have a fragrant one, if it didn't die)
: gardenia
: viburnum (I think it is burkwoodii, but I may be mistaken - blooms very early and smells like petunias)
: roses (I have a couple fairly fragrant ones)
: brugmansias (if they survived the cold)

Some of the perennials I have with the best fragrance include:
: narcissus (I especially love the musky/sweet scent of paperwhites and ehrlicheer)
: copper canyon daisy
: Sylvia's famous mints
(gosh, I'm drawing a blank on fragrant perennials!)

Anyway, if anyone has some favorite fragrant plants, please add to the list!

THANKS!

Lin


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Summer Sweet, Carolina Alspice, and Spicebush.. spice bush is a small tree, rest are shrubs and all are deciduous and native to the south.


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Butterfly bush has a strong sweet smell from the time it starts blooming in early summer until the first frost.


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Masses of 'Rose Creek' abelia plants will give you a nice wafting fragrance. Of all the roses I've tried, Marie Pavie is best for its wafting fragrance during the summer/fall.

I'm still waiting for my sweet olives 'Fudingzhu' and others to get big enough to produce enough flowers to have a strong wafting effect.


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Although a large shrub, I love the fragrance of elaeaganus, and it blooms at least twice during the year, and lasts a long time.


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Carrie, I remember trying to find the source of the scent from your elaeagnus! Maybe I can take some cuttings?

Lou, I didn't realize that abelia had a fragrance - is it just that one variety (Rose Creek)?

Ann, I bought a gallon butterfly bush at season's end on sale - I hope it's one of the fragrant ones! I have a yellow one in Euless that smells like honey, but I haven't been able to root a cutting yet.

Bushhog, I'll be on the lookout for Summer Sweet, Carolina Alspice, and Spicebush - thanks for the heads up, especially since they're natives.

Lin (enjoying the sun today in east Texas)


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

I'm an herb nut, so I love having herbs growing in my yard. Some are annuals, but many are perennials. I love the smell of rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, lemon verbena, lemon balm, mint, borage, Mexican mint marigold, dianthus, roses (yes they are herbs) and many others. And I love the smell of Pelargonium a/k/a scented geraniums, almond verbena and plumerias. Goldenrod Solidago gigantea blooming smells so good, and contrary to popular opinion, it doesn't cause hay fever

Monarda didyma a/k/a Red Bergamot, Bee Balm, Oswego Tea is a Texas native plant that is an herb, and it provides the essential oil used in flavoring Earl Grey tea. Maybe you have some of it around??


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Where do I start? Lol. I collect fragrant plants so here goes-
There are lots of varieties of Michelia other than banana shrubs. All are fragrant. All the hardy ones grow well here.
Chimonanthus praecox, also known as winter sweet.
Eleagnus DOES smell good, and from a distance.
Roses- need a new thread for that. There are too many really good healthy fragrant ones to list here unless that's what you're looking for.
Lots of kinds of magnolias.
Gardenias
A cool little tree- Styrax Japonica 'Emerald Pagoda' smells so good from a distance that my mom and I searched an entire arboretum looking for the source of the scent.
Prunus mume has a wonderful spicy scent.
Clethera
Witch hazel
Abelia- but only a few varieties. Mine weren't labelled but smelled good in bloom at the nursery.
Daphne
Mahonia
A couple of Viburnums, most notably Spring Bouquet
I'm sure there are more. I'll post when I think of them.


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Hi ltcollins -

I too like herbs, but only have oregano, rosemary, and garlic chives established here (I'm hoping the basil from last year self-seeds). I thought I had lemon balm, but I can't remember seeing it this past year though. My Mexican mint marigold is in a pot in the greenhouse in Euless, waiting for spring, so if Mr. Rat doesn't eat it I'll have that. Lemon verbena is not hardy here, and I missed the almond verbena at North Haven Gardens last year (went back to get it but it was gone). I DO have bee balm, but that has been dead for months so that's not what I smelled - I tracked the fragrance to the lonicera fragrantissima - i think it's the blossoms that were open previously that smelled that way.

cweathersby - what a nice list! I'm intrigued by the Styrax Japonica - how does it handle the heat here? I'll see which plants I can find a spot for... Once I move here irrigation won't be an issue but right now everything has to be clustered around the areas serviced by timers.

Lin


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

I love fragrant plants. Thanks for all the varieties that are mentioned! I'm going to check the ones out that I don't have.

Since Winter Honeysuckle was mentioned I went out and took a picture of mine so people would know what it looked like. I've read that it isn't a particularly pretty bush, but I think it IS! This is not the best picture in the world, but here is the arching, graceful, green bush. And it wasn't covered during the freeze:



And the white fragrant flowers:



Click on the thumbnail if you want to see a larger view.

I wanted to check the scent as to whether it smelled like Earl Gray Tea or Gardenia, but my nose was too cold. LOL


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Lin, I think there might be a few places to take cuttings of the elaeagunus ...LOL! It has to have a very big trimming each Spring.


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Sweet Annie is the one that keeps on giving. It is an annual that self seeds. It is not too pretty. It gets 4 feet tall in my beds. Just barely brush it or put your nose to it for intense odor. The dried leaves hold their sweetness for a long time.

I stuffed dried leaves into a potholder shaped bag, and when something hot was placed on it, the smell intensified. (Not my idea, I copied it from a herb book, but do not remember which one so cannot give proper credit,)


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Carrie, I will prune for cuttings!! LOL!!!

Roselee, best I can figure is that when the blossoms are fresh they smell like gardenias or orange blossoms or whatever sweet white fragrance, but once they were older they gave me an Earl Grey fragrance...

Soxxxx, glad you mentioned Sweet Annie - I had that years ago and forgot how fragrant it is. Thanks!

Lin


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

The Styrax handles the heat fine. They do well with filtered shade. Mine get NO supplemental water and never skip a beat.


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

That's amazing, cweathersby - I will be on the lookout for one. Did you buy yours locally or mail order?

Lin


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Mail order. It's got bell like flowers that hang down. Blooms around April. Check out Dave's Garden to see which mail order places have it. Very very few do. It's hard to root.
But- King's Nursery in Tenaha Texas has had it before.


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Well, I was reading my newsletter from PDN, and Tony mentioned this iris:

"Despite the cold weather, there are still plants in flower. Iris unguicularis has been amazing, producing flowers as soon as the temperatures rose past freezing. This is such a wonderful iris, we hope everyone that is within its hardiness zone gives it a try...for the rest of you, it's a great plant for the sunroom where you can enjoy the sweetly fragrant flowers."

Oh, spare me from catalogs that further tempt me!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Iris unguicularis


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

I tried that one. it didn't make it through the winter last year. I never saw a bloom. But I want to try it again if I can find it for cheaper.


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RE: Fragrant plants for north east Texas

Yeah, $20-$28 a pop (plus shipping) is tough to take when you lose it!


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