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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Spring Fragrance

Here are a few plants that are blooming with some amount of fragrance in my garden  None are wafting fragrance so must be smelled up close.  A little known charmer with kind of erratic branch structure is Lonicera syringantha, flowers resembling lilacs.   The light lavender flowers are tubular and in small clusters.  The fragrance is very nice though a little faint on a wet day.
Next, planted also next to a concrete porch for added warmth, Choisya ternata, and with bigger flower
clusters, more attractive foliage, slightly more scent, and bigger plant size, Choisya 'Aztec Pearl'.

It's a good thing they only call these "Mock Orange" because their fragrance can't compare with actual orange blossoms, which can waft their beautiful scent quite a distance.

But the winner in my garden is the wild False Solomon's Seal, Smilacina racemosa, with an exquisite scent worthy of a great perfume.  It is a scent that seems to overwhelm the senses.  While they are blooming, assuming the deer leave them alone or I put wire around them, I try to make a daily pilgrimage to delight in sniffing them.

Over time they make delightful clumps.
The true Solomon's Seal, Polygonatum commutatum, has charming little flowers hanging down under the stems but no fragrance I can detect.  They spread by rhizomes that add an angular bead-like joint on every year, and have medicinal uses.

Second prize would go to Daphne odora but it is not blooming yet this year.  It has a vibrant scent as well.
An honorable mention is given to Daphne x transatlantica 'Summer Ice', which has a lovely scent but just not as strong or entrancing.

So, what is your favorite fragrant flower blooming now?


1 comment:

  1. Hello! I garden primarily for the sake of scented plants, and anything that can beat out Daphne odora I would sure like to experience. I haven't found any other sources that speak of scent in wild Solomon's Seal, and in fact sources that specifically say that there is NO scent. So I wonder if you have a special rare form there. I am in the Pacific Northwest also. If you would be willing to share some of your plant, please let me know. You can contact me at fourlittlebirds at gmail dot com. Thank you!