Fragrant flowers forum: Fragrant doesn't always mean good

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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Jun 17, 2015 3:26 PM CST
What flowers have you found the scent of to be offensive?

Japanese privet (Ligustrum sinense)
Stapelia (carrion plant... so not a surprise)
Purple velvet (Gynura - whew, had to snip those off inside.)
One of the Wisterias (not sure which, most smell good)

Bradford pear (Pyrus calleryana, smells like a really dirty men's restroom at a gross gas station. Yeah, sometimes you just can't wait for the ladies room - LOL!)

Little white Daffodils. (They smell good outside, but cut & brought inside, will have you looking for whatever's gone rotten. Maybe they change as they age?)
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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Jun 17, 2015 6:03 PM CST
chameleon plant
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Jun 17, 2015 6:54 PM CST
Ditto to that one. Smells like the bean scene from Blazing Saddles.
Name: Jolana
Mountain City, Tx (Zone 8b)
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froggardener
Jun 17, 2015 7:34 PM CST
OMG, way too funny but true. The Bradford pear especially, there is a Cracker Barrel north of Austin and they are planted all around it. I got out and before I got to the front door, I had lost my appetite
Boxwood sometimes smells like cat tee
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Name: Dnd
SE Michigan (Zone 6a)
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DogsNDaylilies
Oct 25, 2015 11:53 AM CST
This is so true! I'm glad you started this thread because I try to never assume 'fragrant' is going to mean 'smells good'...but sometimes it's hard to know which odorous plants to steer clear of.

I don't have any of my own yucky-fragrance examples, though; most of my plants either aren't fragrant or smell really good.
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Oct 25, 2015 12:21 PM CST
Houttuynia cordata 'Chameleon' stinks. It's the most beautiful weed but much too invasive and has caused me untold grief and loss of plants.

The smell is what you'd expect at the campfire scene, with all the cowboys eating beans, in Blazing Saddles.

They are the colorful and pretty leaves that are the background here:


Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Oct 25, 2015 4:22 PM CST
You are right Arlene that plant really is stinky and will kill the plants you like. I have been pulling it out and trying to grow it on a hillside with other aggressive plants of Ostrish fern and Bishop weed. I am telling them may the best man win nodding
Name: Arlene
Southold, Long Island, NY (Zone 7a)
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pirl
Oct 25, 2015 4:28 PM CST
They are all horrors and I've dealt with them first hand. Wandering roots are a pain!

One person posted, many years ago, that she detected a lemon scent to the Houttuynia. I have to wonder where she shops!
Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
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Cinta
Oct 26, 2015 12:22 AM CST
Everyone smell fragrance different. I can walk. In a room and tell you there is a stink bug nearby. I have a friend that cannot smell them even if they are close to her nose
Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
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DavidLMO
Nov 5, 2015 10:38 PM CST
Tree of Heaven - Yech. Should be taxonically renamed as Tree from Hell.
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Nov 6, 2015 6:26 AM CST
Cleome smell like B.O. While I think they're pretty, I had to stop growing them due to the horrid odor.

Penstemon smallii seed pods, when opened, smell like dirty, smelly feet.

I am one who had never noticed a smell from stink bugs, even when I smash them.

Karen
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Nov 6, 2015 7:46 AM CST
Awww, I LOVE the smell of Cleome. It does waft on a hot day...
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Name: Karen
Cincinnati, Oh (Zone 6a)
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kqcrna
Nov 6, 2015 8:46 AM CST
Ewwww... it smells like BO!

Karen
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Nov 6, 2015 8:53 AM CST
Oh my, starting to think maybe there's a small chance you don't like it...

Looking back over this, I realize I never mentioned white Brugmansias. When mine finally bloomed, I was repulsed by their odor. I didn't even dig up any to bring when we moved.
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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Nov 6, 2015 9:15 AM CST
purpleinopp said:Oh my, starting to think maybe there's a small chance you don't like it...

Looking back over this, I realize I never mentioned white Brugmansias. When mine finally bloomed, I was repulsed by their odor. I didn't even dig up any to bring when we moved.


Are you referring to Arborea? I grew some from seed in 2014 and first bloom almost open.
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Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
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purpleinopp
Nov 6, 2015 10:19 AM CST
Great job on your blooms, David! Impressive for your location. I'm sure you'll enjoy looking at them, even if 1 sniff is enough, and hopefully it's just my nose being weird about it.

Sorry, IDK. I bought home-propagated cuttings that were just labeled "Datura." I never tried to ID them beyond being Brugmansia, not Datura. In my short time with them, I didn't have any specimens that would have visually enhanced any database entry for such a popular kind of plant, and wasn't interested enough in it to do shots like back of leaf, or stem.

And, not to be picky for its' own sake, a distasteful exercise in any context, but because I think you'll be interested to know how to best use binomials, species names aren't capitalized. To avoid confusion in a discussion where the genus is already established, putting its' first letter in front of a species, like B. arborea, is the usual convention. Then everyone can instantly recognize that it's a species name. Capitalizing a species could lead to confusion about whether it's being used as a species of the genus under discussion, or if discussion of a new genus has arisen.
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Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Nov 6, 2015 6:11 PM CST
purpleinopp said:

And, not to be picky for its' own sake, a distasteful exercise in any context, but because I think you'll be interested to know how to best use binomials, species names aren't capitalized. To avoid confusion in a discussion where the genus is already established, putting its' first letter in front of a species, like B. arborea, is the usual convention. Then everyone can instantly recognize that it's a species name. Capitalizing a species could lead to confusion about whether it's being used as a species of the genus under discussion, or if discussion of a new genus has arisen.


Well aware of the correct binomials. I simply screwed up. I do that periodically. Big Grin

I will have to smell it in my basement, as I moved all the rest of my tropicals and tender stuff in today.

If it does stink, I will toss it in the compost heap as I do not have enough room as it is for everything I brought in today.

Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
[Last edited by DavidLMO - Nov 6, 2015 6:16 PM (+)]
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Name: Kayleigh
(Zone 5a)
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HoosierHarvester
Nov 12, 2015 9:40 AM CST
kqcrna said:Cleome smell like B.O. While I think they're pretty, I had to stop growing them due to the horrid odor.


purpleinopp said:Awww, I LOVE the smell of Cleome. It does waft on a hot day...


Hilarious!

I think Cleome smells like skunk. Crazy as it may sound (and I may have posted this somewhere in the past), that in my childhood and shortly onward, it seemed at least once or twice a year a skunk would have gotten killed on the road, leaving the awful smell. I haven't had a whiff of that *fragrance* for years, and once in a while I miss it. I really like Cleome as a cut flower. To me, the smell is only really potent when rustled. So sitting in a vase, I don't smell it unless water is freshened, or thrown out.

Name: David Laderoute
Zone 5B/6 - NW MO (Zone 5b)
Ignoring Zones altogether
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DavidLMO
Nov 12, 2015 8:05 PM CST
I had some guest viewing my garden and they were not familiar with nor ever seen Cleome. I had a nice lttle stand in full bloom. They were enthralled and of course went over for close look and smell. Before I could warn the, hahahhaaa
"ONG - that smells horrid". And I said - Yep.
Seeking Feng Shui with my plants since 1976
Name: Tiffany
Opp, AL (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
Bulbs Foliage Fan Tropicals Butterflies Garden Sages Cactus and Succulents
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purpleinopp
Nov 13, 2015 6:40 AM CST
Kayleigh, Arlo Guthrie sings this is for you!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EaN7xuAIjXI
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