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What are the names of some fragrant plants that I can grow as housepl

11 years ago

JimShy compiled the following information and accompanying list dealing with houseplants that are fragrant.

Posted by: JimShy z7 Brooklyn, NY (My Page) on Thu, Jun 10, 04 at 12:26

Fragrant Houseplants:

First, the FAQ inside the FAQ!

1. Fragrance is not a science what smells fantastic to one person smells awful to another, or has no smell at all. This is partly genetic, partly personal, and wholly olfactory (sorry, couldnt resist the Batman-style rhyme!), so there is simply no substitute for smelling the plant yourself. Dont take our word for it, or anyone elses, go with your own nose!

2. A lot of other factors go into the scent of a plant: whether its getting enough sun/fertilizer/water, the time of day, the age of the plant, etc. The exact same species can smell different from one individual plant to another. Some folks also think that moon phases, astrological alignments, sunspots, El Nino, Superthrive, eggshells, their grandmothers tea, and the interest rate on 30 year Treasury bonds also play a role. The point is, if something seems to work for you, keep at it!

3. This list is not exhaustive, and will be added to from time to time.

4. There are plenty of scented plants that are not normally considered houseplants, which obsessed, er, dedicated growers are nevertheless trying to grow indoors. This list is mainly those plants that are known to be fairly good growers in the home. I also left out most, if not all, flowering bulbs that are usually purchased in bloom and thrown out when done. Fragrant bulb FAQ, anyone?

5. Plants smell their best when they are grown their best; take the time to learn the right care for your plant, and how it grows best in your home.

Ok, enough already, on to the list! Plants are listed by scientific name, followed by common name in parentheses.

es = evening scented (after dark)
ns = night scented (only late at night)

Acacia baileyana, dealbata, farnesina, longifolia

Aglaia odorata (Chinese perfume plant)

Allamanda cathartica, schotii (neriifolia) are mostly es

Alpinia: many of these have ginger-scented leaves and rhizomes

Araujia sericofera (Cruel plant)

Aristolochia (Dutchmans Pipe): gigantea some other aristolochias are scented, but not in
a good way!

Begonias: some hybrids are lightly fragrant Honeysuckle, Jim Wyrtzen, Lenore
Olivier, Tea Rose, at least two species, solananthera and venosa, are more strongly

Bouvardia longflora (Fragrant bouvardia)

Brugmansias (Angels trumpets): most are fragrant (es), except for sanguinea and some
of its hybrids

Brunfelsias: americana, jamaicensis and isola are es, others are day-scented

Buddleja: most are scented, b. asiatica blooms in winter indoors

Bursera: fagaroides, macrophylla, simaruba all have scented leaves and wood

Callistemon citrinus (Bottlebrush): scented leaves

Carissa macrocarpa

Cassia didimobotrya: leaves smell like buttered popcorn!

Cedronella canariensis (false Balm of Gilead)

Cestrum: aurantiacum, nocturnum (night blooming jasmine), parqui (all es), and diurnum,
which is day-scented

Camellia: some sasanqua cultivars, sinensis, some hybrids very difficult indoors

Citrus: all have scented flowers, often the leaves smell nice too try some in a Thai

Clerodendrum: bungeii, phillipinum, trichotomum (all get very big)

Coffea arabica (coffee)

Coleonema pulchra (Breath of Heaven): scented leaves

Coronilla valentina

Cryptocereus anthonyanus (rick-rack cactus)

Datura (Angels trumpets): most species are fragrant (es)

Dombeya: wallichii, hybrids

Dracena fragrans (Corn Plant)

Duranta erecta: some cultivars are fragrant

Echinopsis: oxypetallum, other species and some hybrids (ns)

Epiphyllum (Orchid cactus): anguliger (es), crenatum, oxypetallum (ns), a few hybrids

Eucharis amazonica (Amazon lily)

Gardenias: see the gardenia mini-FAQ

Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine)

Genista canariensis (Scented Broom)

Hedychium coronarium, gardnerii, some hybrids

Heliotropum arborescens (heliotrope): cherry pie fragrance

Herbs: many herbs are scented, of course, and many can be grown indoors see the Herb
Forum for suggestions

Hermannia verticillata (Honey Bells)

Hibiscus arnottianus

Hoyas: acuta, archiboldiana, australis, bella, carnosa, fungii, lacunosa, nummularioides
(pubera), obovata, obscura, odorata, paziae, pubicalyx, serpens, shepherdii, tsangii,
verticillata, and many more

Illicium floridanum (Florida Anise Tree): scented leaves

Ipomea alba (moonflower)

Ixora barbata, fragrans

Jasmines: almost all species are fragrant, except for mesnyi, nudiflorum, and rex.

Lantana camara: scented leaves

Magnolia coco: es

Malpighia glabra and punicifolia (Barbados Cherry)

Mandevilla laxa (Chilean jasmine)

Michelia figo fuscata, skinneri (Banana shrub), yunnanensis

Mitrostigmara auxillare (African gardenia)

Murraya: exotica, paniculata both called (orange jasmine), koenigii (curry)

Neomarcia gracilis (Walking iris)

Nerium oleander

Nyctanthes arbor-tristes: (es)

Ochna serrulata

Orchids: many, many orchids are fragrant; here are just a few that are particularly good
houseplants: brassavola nodosa, some mini-cattleyas, cymbidium "Golden Elf, "
dendrobium kingianum, Neostylis "Lou Sneery," oncidium "Sharry Baby" (smells like
chocolate!) See the Orchid Forum for more suggestions

Osmanthus fragrans (Sweet olive)

Pachypodium lamerei, saundersii

Pandanus odoratissimus (Screw Pine)

Pandorea pandoreana

Passiflora: many are fragrant, including alata, caerulea, helleri, phoenicia, trifasciata,
and many hybrids.

Pelargoniums (scented geraniums): all scented-leaf geraniums have guess what?
scented leaves

Pereskia aculeata (lemon vine): climbing, leaved cactus with lemon-scented flowers

Pittosporum: eugenioides, tobirum (mock orange)

Plectranthus: many species have scented leaves; some are very strongly scented (think
kitchen cleaners)

Plumeria: most varieties are scented

Pogostemon hyeanus (patchouli): scented leaves

Polianthes tuberosa (tuberose)

Primula (Primrose): some modern hybrids are lightly scented


Psidium (guava): most varieties have scented flowers and lightly scented leaves.

Quisqualis indica (Rangoon creeper)

Reseda odorata (mignonette): scented flowers

Rhododendron: vireya species and hybrids; many are scented and can be grown indoors.
Some smaller Maddeni-type cultivars might also fit indoors.

Rondeletia leucophyllum (es), splendens (ns)

Sanseveria: though not often seen, most snake plants have small, scented flowers

Senecio: confusus (mexican flame vine), pendularis,

Sinningia tubiflora

Stapellia: flavopurpurea is the only species in this genus with a pleasant scent!

Stephanotis floribunda (Madagascar jasmine)

Strophanthus gratus

Tabernaemontana: divericata, holstii (Butterfly gardenia)

Tecoma stans

Telosma cordata

Tillandsia: yes, some air plants have scented flowers: crocata, duratii, straminea and
some others see the Bromeliad Forum

Trachelospermum: asiaticum, jasminoides (Confederate jasmine)

Verbena: some cultivars are scented

Vigna caracalla (Snail Vine)

Viola odorata (Scented violet)

Wrightia religiosa

Zingiber: culinary ginger (zingiber officianale) and some other species have scented
leaves and rhizomes