If you are like me, during this strange, unsettling time of the pandemic, you’re noticing more of the little things in life that effortlessly bring you a moment of peace and joy and appreciating the larger role these things can play for your overall happiness and well-being. I’ve been stopping more to smell the roses so to speak, or actually I’ve been stopping to smell the gardenias (my favorite!), literally.
One of the little things in life that can entice my senses and unexpectedly uplift me to my happy place is the fragrance of certain plants. It has always been amazing to me flowers, bark, leaves and fruit of some plant cultivars contain compounds that become fragrant with the heat of the sun, when crushed or some only emit their aroma at nighttime. Once inhaled, it’s understood that these scent molecules travel from your olfactory nerves in your nose directly to your brain and quickly reach the emotional center. From there, the scent can relax you or perhaps take you back to a special place in time in your memory. It’s like music for your nose.
As the commercial horticulture agent for UF/IFAS Extension Brevard County, I was recently contacted by a local golf course superintendent who is working on updating the landscape at his course’s clubhouse and was specifically looking for recommendations for plants to incorporate that would create a pleasant fragrance in the landscape for visitors. Roses, gardenias, jasmine, lavender and lemongrass, even honeysuckle, are some of the plants that instantly came to my mind when challenged to recommend fragrant plants to incorporate into the landscape.
Knowing that honeysuckle and some jasmines are invasive, and wondering if lavender, a historically Mediterranean species can even grow well here in hot, sticky Florida, I had to dig deeper into to the literature to find the safe and appropriate fragrant plants for recommending for a Florida landscape. I performed a literature review of Florida-Friendly Landscaping plants, Florida Exotic Plant Council’s Invasive Species List, and the UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants in Natural Areas database to bring you the table below (Table 1) that summarizes my findings for 50 fragrant plants suitable for Florida landscapes. Do you know of other fragrant plants safe for planting in Florida that I might have missed? Please give me a comment and let me know, if so! Happy sniffing!
Table 1. Fragrant Plants for Florida Landscapes
|Purple/white/pink, winter flowers; tolerates light frost|
|Yes||White, fragrant, summer through fall flowers|
|No||Pleasant fragrance; summer flowering; fall flowering|
|Yes||Red, fragrant, fall flowers; tolerates occasionally wet soil|
|Crinum Lily||Crinum spp.||Yes||Many cultivars; fragrant, spidery, year-round flowers vary; poisonous; susceptible to pests and diseases|
|Lavender||Lavandula angustifolia||No||‘Phenomenal’ cultivar is disease-resistant, tolerates heat and humidity; attracts butterflies|
|Cherry Sage||Salvia greggii||Yes||Attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, cascading habit|
|Lemongrass||Cymbopogon citratus||Yes||Scented leaves remain green most of the year, turning dark red in fall and winter; dies to the ground in winter in North Florida|
|Asiatic Jasmine||Trachelospermum asiaticum||Yes||Small, dark green glossy leaves, prominent light green veins; tolerates foot traffic; spreads aggressively; susceptible to pests, diseases and cold damage in low 20’s|
|Rose||Rosa spp.||Yes||Flowers vary; susceptible to pests and diseases, ‘Belinda’s Dream’ is highly fragrant|
|Rosemary||Rosmarinus spp.||Yes||Evergreen herb with aromatic needle-like leaves; flowers vary|
|Lady of the Night||Brunfelsia americana||Yes||Evergreen; fragrant, white flowers|
|Yes||Evergreen; pink/purple, summer through fall flowers; larval food plant of zebra longwing, gulf fritillary, and variegated fritillary butterflies; tolerates occasionally wet soil|
|Rangoon Creeper||Quisqualis indica||Yes||1″ flowers turn from white to pink or pink to deep red, blooms in spring through fall; good for fences, pergolas, and small buildings; susceptible to pests; Assessed as a ‘moderate risk’ non-native|
|Fetterbush||Agarista populifolia||Yes||Evergreen, creamy white, fragrant spring flowers|
|Star Jasmine||Trachelospermum jasminoides||Yes||White, fragrant, showy, spring flowers; susceptible to diseases|
|American Wisteria||Wisteria frutescens||Yes||Lavender, fragrant, spring through summer flowers; poisonous parts|
SMALL OR LARGE SHRUBS2
|Natal Plum||Carissa macrocarpa||Yes||Also known as Carissa grandiflora; edible fruit; white, fragrant year-round flowers|
|Downy Jasmine||Jasminum multiflorum||Yes||White, fragrant, year-round flowers; dies back in freeze, may come back; susceptible to pests; sprawling form|
|Sweet Almond Bush||Aloysia virgata||Yes||Evergreen; white, fragrant, summer through fall flowers, attracts butterflies|
|Brunfelsia grandiflora||Yes||White/purple, spring through fall flowers|
|Yes||Flowers hang from stems and branches and drape the plant with color; good specimen tree; susceptible to pests and diseases; Assessed as ‘Moderate Risk’ by UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-Native Plants3|
|Yes||Deciduous, non-fragrant, purple/violet flowers; excellent for butterflies; aggressive suckering and spreads through runners|
|Orange Jessamine||Murraya paniculata||Yes||Yellow/orange, spring through summer flowers’ attracts wildlife|
|Sweet Pepperbush||Clethra alnifolia||Yes||White, fragrant, summer flowers; attracts bees and other wildlife; grows well in wet areas|
|Gardenia||Gardenia jasminoides||Yes||Also known as Gardenia augusta; white, fragrant spring through summer flowers; use only grafted varieties due to nematode susceptibility; susceptible to scales; use iron fertilizer to keep green|
|Oregon Hollygrape||Mahonia bealei||Yes||Also known as Berberis bealei; yellow, fragrant, winter through spring Flowers; glossy grey/green leaves, holly-like appearance; purplish-blue berries provide food for wildlife|
|Tea Olive||Osmanthus fragrans||Yes||Extremely fragrant, white blossoms, great for hedges|
|Chinese Fringe Bush||Loropetalum chinense||Yes||White/pink, spring flowers; size varies; susceptible to pests and diseases; in high pH soils may have minor element deficiencies, mildly fragrant|
|Panama Rose||Rondeletia leucophylla||No||Low-maintenance, pink fragrant flowers year-round|
|Shining Jasmine||Jasminum nitidum||Yes||Evergreen to semi-evergreen vine or shrub; white, fragrant, spring through summer flowers|
|Primrose Jasmine||Jasminum mesnyi||Yes||Rambling, evergreen; will climb like vine if given support; fragrant, yellow flowers; dies back in freeze, may come back|
|Red Powderpuff||Calliandra haematocephala||Yes||Possible cold damage from freezing temperatures; large fragrant flower Blooms during warm months; susceptible to pests|
LARGE SHRUB or SMALL TREES
|Sweet Acacia||Acacia farnesiana||Yes||Yellow, year-round flowers, great for birds|
|Marlberry||Ardisia escallonioides||Yes||Fragrant, white, year-round flowers; attractive foliage; round, purple fruits provide food for wildlife, mostly in fall and winter; good for screens and hedges|
|Stoppers||Eugenia spp.||Yes||Flowers vary; needs little attention once established; natives are E. axillaris, E. foetida, E. rhombea, and E. confusa; E. axiliaris, E. confusa, E. foetida have high wind resistance|
|Wild Olive||Osmanthus americanus||Yes||White, fragrant, spring flowers; provides food for wildlife|
|Fiddlewood||Citharezylum fruiticosum||Yes||Tolerant of dry sandy soil|
|Awabuki Viburnum||Viburnum odoratissimum||Yes||Also known as Viburnum awabuki; fragrant, small white, spring flowers; red/black fruit provides food for wildlife; takes well to pruning; used for hedges; susceptible to pests and diseases|
|Frangipani||Plumeria alba, Plumeria rubra||Yes||Intensely fragrant, spiral-shaped, blooms which appear at branch tips June through November|
|Chinese Perfume Tree||Aglaia odorata||No||Fragrant yellow ball-shaped flowers|
|Wild Cinnamon||Canella winterana||Yes||Purple to red summer flowers, bark has a cinnamon like smell|
|Fringetree||Chionanthus virginicus||Yes||Adds dark green color in summer and bright white flowers in spring|
|Chinese fringetree||Chionanthus retusus||Yes||Somewhat available, may have to go out of the region to find|
|Yes||Great shade tree, large creamy white flowers|
|Sweet Bay Magnolia||Magnolia virginiana||Yes||Excellent vertical definition in a shrub border or as a free-standing specimen; lemon-scented flowers|
|Saucer Magnolia||Magnolia soulangiana||Yes||Impressive display of large, pinkish flowers in spring|
|Banana Shrub||Magnolia figo||Yes||Also known as Michelia figo; light-yellow, spring through early summer flowers; fragrance similar to ripening cantaloupes or bananas; generally used as specimen plant; susceptible to scale and mushroom root rot|
|Ylang Ylang Tree||Cananga odorata||No||Best in Zone 10, blooms after 3-4 years|
|1Florida-Friendly Plants are considered by UF/IFAS horticulture specialists to be well-adapted to growing in Florida landscapes. The plants on this list are not the only plants that can be used in Florida. Contact your county’s UF/IFAS Extension office to determine if a plant not on the list is suitable for your region.
2Plants can be managed to be either one depending on space or desired habit.
3Non-native plant assessment by UF/IFAS indicates this plant is moderate risk, meaning it can be planted but must be managed to prevent escape.
March 29, 2022
Hi Laura, Currently, we do not have any permaculture classes. Our horticulture agent, Sally, might have some information on it though. You can contact her at email@example.com
March 27, 2022
Do you have classes regarding Perma Culture? My daughter-in-law was talking to me about this and I am hoping you have available information. Thanks
February 10, 2022
Hello, We have another pressure canning class coming up on March 5 from 10 am to 12 pm. You can find it on our Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/ufifas-extension-brevard-county-18496539748
February 10, 2022
I was wondering if another pressure canning class is coming up? I missed the one this month unfortunately and am very interested in learning this skill!
November 17, 2021
Hi Dianna, I have a post scheduled to go out on 11/24. If you would like to receive our class list sooner, we have a newsletter that goes out on the 3rd Monday of every month! You can subscribe to it here: https://bit.ly/3CxvPY4
November 16, 2021
When will they post December classes?
October 12, 2021
Dear Dr. Wells, I admire your work to find the happy environmentally friendly balance of natural ecosystems within golf courses. We have found many supporters who wish to reinvent the abandoned , privately -owned West End golf course on Newberry Road in Alachua County, and are reaching out to our County government for their support as well. The golf course was the core of our West End Village neighborhood ; we have a dream to revitalize it. Looking forward to contacting you at a later time! Thank you.
October 11, 2021
Hi Laura, Thanks for your comment! I missed it earlier, I apologize. Please feel free to quote me and reach out if you have any questions. Several of our golf courses have become certified with Audubon International for their conservation efforts! I also have an article you may be interested in here, page 16: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.ftga.org/resource/resmgr/turf_digest/2019/ftd_septoct_2019.pdf
October 11, 2021
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October 9, 2021
Pls specify, as well, Bonnie, which of the plants in your table r native to Florida.
October 8, 2021
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September 29, 2021
You're welcome. Glad I could provide useful information. Thanks for reading.
September 20, 2021
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September 5, 2021
I am a huge fan of Greenspaces/ Golf Courses. I love the statement you make underlining the importance of golfcourse superintendents as “stewards of the land. “May I please quote you ? I’m writing our commissioners to help save an abandoned for sale golf course! I love seeing deer, red tailed hawks, Sandhill Cranes on this former course. I’ve also seen a pair of pileated woodpeckers, a flock of egrets, and bluebirds.
August 23, 2021
Hello Michael, It's possible that the class in Cocoa is already full. Please contact the instructor, Gus Koerner, at (321) 633-1702 ext. 52320 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
August 21, 2021
Hello! the Hunter Safety Class is NOT listed on the FWC class list.. My son needs the class, it has been canceled twice..he is signed up for the 3 hour virutal on AUG 24th, but if this cancels, we would like to do the 28th class in Cocoa.. Please advise! Thank YOU! Mike
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July 7, 2021
Hi Chris, Yes, these are "Florida-Friendly" plants, meaning they are low impact, environmentally friendly, use less water and reduce pollutant loading to Florida waters. Learn more here: https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/ Thanks! Bonnie
July 1, 2021
Hello, I just want to clarify... Under "Florida Friendly" cloumn, are you saying the plants do well in the Florida environment OR the plants are dangerous because of the ability to spread and damage the environment like Kudzu in Georgia? I live in Boca Raton, in Palm Beach County, which I believe is Zone 10.
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January 6, 2021
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November 27, 2020
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November 9, 2020
Hi Mia, the Duval County Extension office should be able to help you with that question. Dr. Kerr is the commercial horticulture agent there, his email is CKERR@COJ.NET. Thanks for reading!
November 9, 2020
Awesome Frank, will do! Thanks so much for the suggestion. :)
November 9, 2020
Please, please, please add the FL native climbing aster! (Symphyotrichum carolinianum) The incredible explosion of fragrant purple flowers arrives in November & December, at a point when many other FL wildflowers are fading. To me, the flowers smell like sweet, warm sugar cookies! It's always loaded with pollinators too... Perfect for wetter soils - along the edges of ponds, swales, etc. Thanks, Frank Galdo - Program Coordinator, Florida-Friendly Landscaping, UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County Pics & info: https://flawildflowers.org/flower-friday-symphyotrichum-carolinianum/ http://hawthornhillwildflowers.blogspot.com/2009/11/climbing-aster-symphyotrichum.html https://twitter.com/PascoExt/status/1243217796705763329
June 28, 2020
These plants are very hard to find for purchase. Do you know anywhere in the Jax area? Thank you
June 11, 2020
It as hard to find experienced people in this particular topic, however, you sound like you know what you are talking about! Thanks
May 13, 2020
Thanks and you're welcome! - gus
May 13, 2020
Thanks for your comments! There are so many math and physics principles practiced and demonstrated in archery! If an instructor can remember to point them out while the kids are on the range, he or she can really reinforce what is taught in the classroom. All the instructor has to do, is find the appropriate teachable moment and take advantage of it. gus
May 8, 2020
This is a great use of math an angles to help improve your archery shooting range. When teaching a beginner having them line up a 90 degree angle will be helpful for them to take the same stance each time. Thank you
May 6, 2020
Informative, Thanks for this.
April 30, 2020
Thanks for your comments! I feel the same way. - gus
April 30, 2020
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March 26, 2020
Hey Steven! Thanks for your comment. I suggest you get into hunting with a multi-tiered approach, making sure you are comfortable in the woods, you know the laws and regulations of what you plan on hunting, and starting small - with small game that is. Hunting, which includes dispatching small game takes the same skills as hunting large game but with less input and intensity. If you can successfully bag your first raccoon (for example) and process it all the way to the table, you'll be well on your way to hunting larger game as you gain experience. If you haven't taken it, or done it lately, enroll in your local Hunter Safety class by your state game division. They can help. Go out into the woods and scout around. Go to the range and perfect your skills. All these things will not only prepare you for hunting, but will help you decide IF and how you want to go ahead. I hope that helps! - gus
March 25, 2020
Great share. I am new in hunting. Should I start with deer hunting? What your recommandation?
July 8, 2019
I'm glad you enjoyed the article! gus
June 19, 2019
Great to hear Joe! Send me a picture of it. firstname.lastname@example.org I'd love to see it! gus
May 12, 2019
Haha I did it I made awing bone call . Thanks for the information .
March 6, 2019
Thank you for your nice blog post. Keep it up.
March 5, 2019
Thank you very much, Gary! I have been impressed with the BMP efforts of the Brevard turf professionals I've visited and will most definitely be helping with the implementation of new programs and certifications in environmental stewardship. Stay tuned!
March 5, 2019
Thank you for your post. Keep it up.
March 4, 2019
This is a great article Bonnie. Thank you very much for taking the time to visit the courses and talk to the superintendents. I am sure that you were pleased with the knowledge and effort they use daily to be stewards of the environment. Many are BMP Certified but we need more to get this certification and implement new programs to make the best agronomic and environmental decisions on a daily basis.
February 18, 2019
The counties currently involved in the FL Horseshoe Crab Watch Program are Franklin, Taylor, Dixie, Levy, Hernando, Pinellas, Manatee, Martin, Indian River, Brevard, Volusia, and Nassau. There are some counties that will be incorporated in the future including those in Southwest Florida (and Collier county). Here on the East Coast of Florida we see horseshoe crabs nesting between December-May depending on where you are. On the Gulf Coast of Florida they see them nesting in the spring and fall (Feb-May and Aug-Oct). It's unknown what the nesting time is in southwest Florida. If you ever do see horseshoe crabs please report them to the FWC Wildlife Hotline for horseshoe crabs at this link: https://myfwc.com/research/saltwater/crustaceans/horseshoe-crabs/ (click on Report Your Nesting Horseshoe Crab Sighting). You can also download the free FWC Reporter App and report sightings through your mobile device (https://myfwc.com/news/all-news/sighting-app/).
February 17, 2019
Is any yagging being done in Collier County? When is the best timr of yr to watch for mating crabs? Several yrs ago I was doing daily searches at Tigertail beach/lagoon. Found a good number that I sexed, measured etc. Never knrw where to send tbe data. Any contact person for this area?
December 3, 2018
Thanks Michael. I've put you down on my list and will be in touch once training dates are set.
December 3, 2018
Thanks Ivan. I've put you down on my list and will be in touch once training dates are set.
November 29, 2018
Hi Erin, unfortunately I do not have another one planned. I will keep your email address and let you know if we have another one.
November 29, 2018
Hi Cynthia, this class was in August. I don't have another one planned.
November 26, 2018
I'm in for a mid Brevard county location.
November 14, 2018
Would you please provide me with more information, like date and cost?
November 13, 2018
I'm interested and can work for Kirk in Indian River County or Holly in mid to south Brevard.
November 5, 2018
thank you for the info, very interesting
October 17, 2018
Is this going to be offered anytime soon? I was registered for a previous course but it was cancelled. Thank you. Erin
October 11, 2018
Thank you Mary. Feel free to call me anytime to discuss youth shooting sports in our region. Gus 321-633-1702, Ext. 52320
September 27, 2018
Gus, We shoot lever action smallbore and pistol cartridge rifle metallic silhouette at Seminole County Gun and archery and Chuluota Sportsmans Club on second Saturday and second Sunday of each month. Also smallbore and Hunters Pistol at Chuluota SC. Mary Watkins
June 14, 2018
We have just posted an article about the Tegu Lizard being spotted in Brevard County.
May 22, 2018
Thanks Mr. Gus!
Comments are closed.