I love to experience flowers with all of my senses. There’s nothing more serendipitous than walking a path and inhaling in the unexpected, beautiful fragrance of a nearby plant. While I don’t claim to know every fantastically fragrant flower in central Florida, I do know my favorite ones in my garden. I have a few honorable mentions as well, so be sure to read until the end.
#5 Tea Olive
The creamy colored flowers on this evergreen shrub or small tree smell fantastic a couple times a year. While it is a tough shrub, two of mine grown in too shady a location are susceptible to powdery mildew. Be sure to plant this is sun.
#4 Sweet Almond
This is one of those plants you can just break a piece off and stick in the ground and it grows. The leaves are scratchy… they don’t hurt, they’re just very rough and not smooth to the touch. While not a particularly attractive plant (save for the flowers), the fragrance will definitely grab your attention. It is not overpowering at all but, somehow, it reminds me of the smell of the scent they use in port-a-potties. Joe likes the smell. I think it’s fine but wish I didn’t have that weird recollection each time I get a whiff!
#3 Night Blooming Jessamine
This has to be one of the top, most intoxicating fragrances in the garden. This also propagates readily. While it makes seeds, and is considered a thug elsewhere, I have not seen it spread at all. Mine have established quickly and don’t seem to be particularly thirsty but will wilt during a prolonged drought. Sometimes these are referenced as jasmines, but they are not.
I have several jasmines on the property, not all of them fragrant, and not all of them are technically jasmines. This one is angel wing jasmine which smells delightful. I also have a beautifully fragrant confederate or star jasmine (which, as it turns out, is also not jasmine.) My downy jasmine doesn’t have a scent at all, even though it is a true jasmine.
Not all roses are fragrant. However, these drift roses are heavenly! Drift roses are my new favorite because they self-deadhead (although you can’t tell that from this photo). You simply can’t work or near the garden without catching a whiff of their delicious scent.
There are so many more fragrant flowers for Florida. The reason these make it to the honorable mention list is because I just haven’t had as many blossoms as I should, the fragrance is subtle, or they are new to me and haven’t flowered yet. Honorable mention fragrant plants in my garden are:
natchez crepe myrtle