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favourite fragrant flowers?

 
steward
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Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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Many of the flowers in my garden are part of a cycle, and their main purpose is to turn into my dinner!
As a bonus, some vegetable plants have very fragrant flowers .
I grow some flowers just because I think they're beautiful, but beauty must be combined with fragrance for me.

My alltime favourite is bearded iris. I have a bit of a 'thing' for them, and they like my dry, sandy soil.
The flowers look delicate, but they handle my spring gales.
They're one of those plants that are especially easy to pass from gardener to gardener, and I like that

Short-growing, intensely fragrant purple irisfrom my mum, who got it from her uncle Jack, who got it from...

An Orris variety-the root's traditionally used in perfumery. Doesn't look like much, but it smells amazing

the most fragrant of all is the white iris 'florentina'; a cultivar from around the 1500s


What's your favourite fragrant flowers?

 
pollinator
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Location: northern California
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Fragrance is such a powerful, almost spiritual presence....such plants are worth having, even at considerable trouble.
My list of all time favorites: Night-bloomers first....the most romantic of all....night jessamine (Cestrum nocturnum), night-scented stock (Matthiola bicornis), night-blooming tobacco (Nicotiana alata and N. sylvestris), and moonflower (Calonictyon or Ipomoea noctiflora?) . Others...freesias, paperwhite and tazetta narcissus, lilacs, water lilies and lotus, hyacinths, witch hazel, sweet olive (Osmanthus heterophyllus).
 
pollinator
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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When I lived on the Eastcoast, my all time favorite was lilacs. A fresh picked bouquet placed in the kitchen would fill the entire house with their wonderful fragrance. My second favorite was hyacinths.

I'm now in Hawaii where my favorite is white ginger, followed closely behind by Kahili ginger. Night blooming cereus is another favorite.
 
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I clicked in to say lilac and lotus. Both can be smelled at quite a distance. When I was 18, I picked a huge bouquet of stinky daisies for my girlfriend. Her mom put them in a bucket beside an outdoor table. She also put the tomatoes and apples that I brought on the same table, in order to not have the daisies singled out.
 
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clove pink, dianthus, is at the top of the list...some years the patch I have is just solid blooms and you can smell it from across the yard. I like iris too...each color seems to have a different fragrance, and lilacs are always wonderful....and right up at the top also is my old garden rose 'charles de milles' gallica that was here at an old homestead house site and is just prolific where ever I move it to.....we dry the petals and they hold the scent as a tea and for medicinal uses.
 
steward
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Amongst my favorites, carnation has always been a favorite.

Then, there is the plumeria/frangipani. you cannot make a proper lei without it.

And, yes - night blooming jasmine.
I have a friend from Malaysia who used to refer to the 10 o'clock flower.
When I asked about it, he stated "It doesn't bloom until 10 pm."
Turns out to be the night blooming jasmine.

 
Leila Rich
steward
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Alder Burns wrote:freesias

I love how the plainer and unassuming they are, the more powerful the fragrance ...

John Polk wrote:plumeria/frangipani

I still remember getting off the plane in Fiji as a kid and being bowled over by the scent.
The plant and flowers look so cool too!

buddleia (butterfly bush) is a scraggly shrub, but I love the smell.
Broad beans (fava) and chard flowers are really fragrant
 
Posts: 2679
Location: Phoenix, AZ (9b)
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Sweet William (really - anything of the carnation family) - love that spicy scent.

For native plants - Aloysia gratissima (verbena family) - large shrub with tiny white flowers that smell strongly of vanilla!

 
pollinator
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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I also love lilac, and plumeria.

And rugosa rose (and many other roses), honeysuckle, and that strong peppery lupin scent.
 
Leila Rich
steward
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Judith Browning wrote:clove pink, dianthus

Mine have just started flowering.
Tough plants-they even do ok in pots with my cactus and succulents!
 
gardener
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Lavender - I can never seem to get enough of it.
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lavender
lavender
 
Leila Rich
steward
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Jennifer Wadsworth wrote:native plants


Our natives don't have the flashiness of many introduced plants,
but the native broom Carmichaelia odorata has mauve flowers with what I've always thought of as a 'purple flowers' smell-
lilacs, old fashioned roses, some irises smell purple too...
Cripes. "I can smell the colours" sounds a bit synaesthetic; but I'd say it's more to do with science
Don't get me started on yellow flowers!
 
Posts: 152
Location: Connecticut
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I recently discovered Sweet Annie (Artemisia annual). I can't keep my nose out of it.
 
pollinator
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i am missing the pineapple sage (salvia elegans) i was growing for so long, on the coast it did great for years. when i moved i dug some up and brought it with, but it died in the extreme winter last year. and its a short day plant, so i couldnt get the seed to finish before the snow =(. think i will try to grow it again even if its just an annual here in this climate, or even sacrifice some room in the hoop house just for its awesome smell.

instead now i have a lot of clary sage (salvia sclarea) which also smells amazing.

also already mentioned lavender, jasmine, and especially rugosa roses
 
Leila Rich
steward
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How did I miss citrus!?
I love it that different types have a hint of their fruit's particular fragrance.

Sweet peas. This one's an original variety that hasn't had the fragrance bred out of it in favour of massive, frilly flowers.
It's using an obliging boysenberry and my bean poles as climbing frames
 
Leila Rich
steward
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I made a posy for a friend today, and it made me realise I've got more flowers in my garden than I ever have before
I think I'm more interested in the way the garden looks and 'feels' these days-
I'm sure it used to be much more about growing food!
 
gardener
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Winter Daphne of course. Signals the end of year with its beautiful fragrance.

Also poet's jasmine in summer.

Eleagnus ebbingei x Silverberry: It's a hybrid, but it produces wonderfully fragrant flowers in October, November and December, then berries in April!

I agree with most citrus-my owari satsuma mandarin orange is beautiful, but bitter orange-flying dragon, produces no fragrance.

Also many herbs produce a beautiful fragrance even when they're not flowering, like Rosemary and Oregano.
John S
PDX OR
 
Posts: 105
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I really like tuber roses but my all time favorite is naked lady flowers an amaryllis that dies back in the spring and shoots up a great smelling stem of blooms in summer with no leaves.
 
Posts: 27
Location: coastal northern nor cal
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Baronia. hands. down. difficult (for me, zone 8b) not showy in any season, short life and not edible but I will never be without a plant outside my bedroom window. Before I woke up and realized how important permaculture is for the land, wildlife and my family's health, I saturated my property with plants that have amazing scent. Can anyone deny how amazing a spring breeze through a cottonwood smells? Well most of the pretty smellies have been replaced with edibles for myself and the critters but I will never give up a certain three square foot space with prime southern exposure because I truly believe I cannot live happily without a cool baronia breeze wafting through my house. And I simply cannot afford the oil until I win the lottery!
 
gina kansas
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Marianne Cicala wrote:Lavender - I can never seem to get enough of it.

Hanging bunches with your drying linen is pure genius!! Stealing this and running fast
 
Posts: 1947
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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Hmmmm, tough question. I think Sweet Annie, Sweet Alyssum and Sweet Woodruff. I'm sensing a theme...
 
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I always loved peonies, roses, lilacs & lavender. When I moved to the south several years back I discovered Osmanthus & I can't get enough of it!
 
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I have a couple fences that are lined with Lilac as a privacy wall. Some sections are over 12 feet tall. They are all blooming this time if year and it smells amazing. It is also fun to watch the Hummingbird moths all over them. The cat catches them and feeds them to its kittens.
 
gardener
Posts: 1959
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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This gardenia is right at our back door, and this is the first year it has really produced a lot of blooms. I think it is about 4 or 5 years old, and has been a very slow grower, but has finally been worth it!

We use this door the most frequently, and every time I've walked in or out, I just want to stand there for a moment and enjoy the amazing fragrance!

I find myself walking over to it and breathing in deeply and thinking...

Gardenias...(sniffs)...smell...(sniffs)...soooo... (sniffs)... good!

I planted some lilacs this year too, and am really excited to hopefully enjoy them soon also!
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gardenia
gardenia
 
gardener
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One of my very favorite is Sweet Peas, I also love guardians, Jasmine and honeysuckle, and roses.
 
pollinator
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Good old fashioned lily of the valley has a glorious scent; as does philadelphus; saffron crocuses with their delicate sweet, honey scent and all of the above.
 
gardener
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I have to second the Daphne. Although it is not at all edible (foliage described as toxic to people and animals), I don't recall any other plant quite so romantically tantalizing me into wandering around following my nose, seeking the source of that magical fragrance.

I grew up around roses, Iris, lavendar, mints, honeysuckle, and sweet Williams (or clove pinks), so maybe Daphne got points for being new as well as smelling delicious.

The version I first met was in Portland's Chinese garden,  and one of the few things blooming in Jan/ February, so points for subtle standout there too.

Best smelling edibles I prefer: pineapple sage, pineapple weed, tea roses, lavendar, violets, day lilies. First and last three for salads or cream treats (like frosting cakes); middle three for teas.
 
Posts: 72
Location: Western Oregon, Zone 8b
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A favorite of mine that hasn't been mentioned yet is Stock (Matthiola Incana). It's edible, smells amazing, and is a valuable cut flower.
 
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great thread!

my plumeria was flowering at the same time as the lilacs this year
i have to say the lilac overpowered the plumeria smell by a long shot

i am trying really hard not to buy new tropicals until after the greenhouse gets built
but once i start buying again i would like to get some of these:
http://www.floraexotica.ca/Flower%20Fragrance.htm
 
pollinator
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I love the smell of plum blossoms and peonies.

I also love the blended smell of fields of wildflowers.  Chicago park district created a nature park full of native grasses and wildflowers at Western and Peterson, and you can actually smell the wildflowers even driving by with the car windows down.  It is like a little relaxation aromatherapy.
 
pollinator
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Moonflowers, the big ones.
I've smelled them walking past peoples house and just stopped to sniff their yard.
They wanted to know what I was doing.
For years when ever they were in bloom, that's where I walked the dog every evening.
 
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Lilac is my absolute favorite scent. I also like basil and mint.
 
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I don't have one, but a large percentage of the houses in my old neighbourhood have large and gorgeous magnolia trees in the front. I had no idea they would survive in my 5b area until we moved here and saw so many blooming at the end of spring.

I don't have space for any more trees here, but the next house should be the forever one, and I would like to carve out a sunny corner for one.

I am losing my sense of smell, but the lavender and lilac bush I have still excite me with their scent. In terms of scented flowers I have gorgeous old peonies that my Mother in law gave to me, that her neice gave to her, that originally came with the very old house said niece bought. They look and smell very elegant and delicate. :D They will definitely be coming with me when we move.
 
pollinator
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Flowers and fragrant goodness.
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pollinator
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Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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I could almost smell these as I read!  One that surprised me years ago is the fragrance of Spanish Broom... spartium junceum.  It is not at all like the dreaded scotch broom that is truly a weed here in the PNW, although of the same family.  This one, although also listed as a noxious weed here, is nothing to look at, tolerates drought, and I don't see it spreading in this area at all, but I grow it discretely in a pot, and love the flower fragrance.

I also love the clove fragrance of the dianthus family...which is also shared by the Crandall currant.  BTW, daphne grows and blooms in dead shade at my house, along with lily of the valley (which is a thuggish spreader or delightful ground cover... :)  (Now I have to go research baronia... although probably not hardy here ;)  And try again to grow the annual mignonette for it's vanilla fragrance ;)  And remember to cut all the sweet woodruff foliage at it's peak, to put in a bowl in the house ;)
 
Scott Stiller
pollinator
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Hey Nancy. Funny story about Daphne. I used to be a receiver at a big box store. Around here Daphnes are one of the first bloomers of spring and I was to scan some in a box truck. When the driver opened the back the strongest smell of fruity pebbles smacked me right in the face! It was wonderful!
 
gardener
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Almond verbena is heavenly to me. The flowers are lacking in the beauty department, but who needs beauty when you smell that great?
My sense of smell has declined over the last 6-7 years but, when the almond verbena is in bloom, I stop every time I walk by and take several deep breaths to savor the fragrance.
 
Posts: 50
Location: Tampa area, Florida - zone 9a
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Hyacinths have always been a favorite of mine.  I get a few every spring.

When planting my gardens at this house, I made sure we had plenty of smelly things for both day and night and it's wonderful to walk around the yard.  Daytime - papaya blossoms, sweet almond (almond verbena), gardenia, Chinese perfume plant, butterfly ginger, banana shrub, confederate jasmine, Easter lilies.  Nighttime - four o'clocks, night blooming jasmine, confederate jasmine, Chinese perfume plant.

I'll add more as time goes by.  ...great subject!
 
Scott Stiller
pollinator
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I don’t recall ever smelling Almond Verbena. I’m not even sure I’ve heard of it until today.
 
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