Fragrant Flowers

Fragrance is released from the flowers of numerous plants.  It can be strong, pervading the air around the plant, or apparently only when you get close to individual blooms.  Some plants release scent continually, but with others it is most noticeable at night.    A sunny, sheltered patio is an ideal situation for small scented plants.  Position large scented shrubs close to paths, and train fragrant climbers around doorways.  Hyacinths and Paper white narcissus in pots bring welcome early spring fragrance indoors.


Abelia grandiflora
Glossy, dark green foliage with an abundance of fragrant, pink tinged, white flowers from mid summer to mid autumn.  H & S 3m (10ft)

Berberis Stenophylla
Narrow, spine-tipped, deep green leaves, blue-grey beneath.  Massed golden-yellow flowers from Mid to late spring.  H & S 3m (10ft) 

Buddleia davidii and cultivars

Chimonanthus praecox (Wintersweet)
Oval, rough, glossy, dark green leaves. Very fragrant, cup-shaped, yellow flowers on bare stems during winter.  H 2.5m (8ft) S 3m (10ft)

Choisya ternata (Mexican orange blossom)
Aromatic, glossy, bright green leaves.  Clusters of fragrant white blooms open in late spring and again in autumn. H 3m (10ft) S 3m (10ft)

Corylopsis pauciflora
Oval, bright green leaves, bronze when young.  Fragrant, tubular to bell-shaped, pale yellow flowers from early to mid spring.  H & S 1.5m (5ft)

Cytisus battandierii (Pineapple Broom)
Semi-evergreen, open shrub. Leaves have 3 silver-grey leaflets.  Pineapple scented, yellow flowers in summer.  H 5m (17ft) S 5m (17ft)

Daphne (Many)

Erica Lustanica (Portuguese heath)
Feathery bright green leaves and from late autumn to late spring, bears bell shaped flowers that are pink in bud and open to pure white.  H 3m (10ft) S 1m (3ft)

Hamamelis mollis (Chinese Witch hazel)
Oval, mid-green leaves turn yellow in autumn.  Extremely, fragrant yellow flowers on bare stems in mid and late winter.  H & S 4m (12ft)

Lavendula hidcote and stoechas

Lilacs (most)

Lonicera fragrantissima (Shrubby Honesuckle)
Oval dark green leaves with fragrant short-tubed, creamy-white flowers in winter and early spring. H 2m (6ft) S 4m (12ft)

Philadelphus (most)

Pittosporum tobira (Japanese pittosporum)
Oblong to oval, glossy, dark green leaves.  Very fragrant, star shaped, white flowers in late spring, later become creamy-yellow. H 6m (20ft) S 4m (12ft) 


Sarcoccocea (Christmas box, Sweet box)

Viburnum (many)


Acacia dealbata (Mimosa / Silver wattle)
 Has feathery, blue-green leaves with many leaflets.   Racemes of fragrant, bright yellow flower heads are borne in winter-spring.  H 10m (30ft) S 7.5m (25ft)

Cratagus monogyna (Common Hawthorn)
Broadly oval, deeply lobed, dark green leaves.  Clusters of fragrant, white flowers borne from late spring to early summer. H 10m (30ft) S 8m (25ft)

Laburnum x watereri ‘Vossii’ (Voss’s Laburnum)
Glossy, deep green leaves consisting of 3 leaflets.  Pendant chains of large yellow flowers in late spring and early summer. H 10m (30ft) S 10m (30ft)


Malus hupehensis (Crab)
Has deep green leaves, large, fragrant white flowers from pink buds from mid to late spring. H 8m  (25ft) S 8m (25ft)

Pittosporum tenuifolium 
Wavy-edged, oval, glossy, mid green leaves.  Bears honey scented, purple flowers in late spring.
H 6m (20ft) S 4m (12ft)

Prunus watereri
Oval dark green leaves, turn red or yellow in autumn.  Bears long racemes of pink flowers in late spring.  H 15m (50ft) S 10m (30ft)

Robinia pseudoacacia (False acacia / Locust)
Dark green leaves consist of 11 - 23 leaflets with drooping clusters of pea-like white flowers in late spring.  H 25m (80ft)

S 15m (50ft)


Amaryllis belladonna

Childanthus fragrans

Crocus angustifolium

Crocus longiflorus

Freesia (most)

Hyacinthus orientalis and cultivars


Lilies (several)


Ornithogalum arabicum


Anemone sylvestris (Snowdrop windflower)
Divided, mid-green leaves with fragrant, semi-pendant, white flowers with yellow centres in spring and early summer. H & S 30cm (12”)

Convallaria majalis (Lily-of-the-valley)
Oval, mid to dark green leaves with sprays of small, very fragrant white flowers.

H 15cm (6”) S indefinite

Crambe cordifolia
Clouds of small, fragrant, white flowers in summer above large, crinkled, dark green leaves H to 2m (6ft) S 1.2m (4ft)

Hesperis matronalis (Dame’s violet, Sweet rocket)
Long spikes of many, white or violet flowers are borne in summer. Strong fragrance in the evening.  H 75cm (30”) S 60cm (24”)

Hostas (some)

Primula veris (Cowslip)

Verbena x hybrida series and cultivars

Viola odorata (Sweet violet)
Heart shaped, toothed leaves,  Violet or white flowers on long stems in winter to early spring
H 7cm (3“) S 15cm (6”)


Alyssum montanum
Small, oval, hairy, grey leaves. Highly fragrant, soft yellow flowers in summer.  

H and S 15cm (6”)

Dianthus (most)

Papaver croceum (Iceland poppy)
Oval, toothed, soft green leaves. Hairy stems produce single, fragrant, white and yellow flowers.
H to 30cm (12”) S 10cm (4”)

Primula auricula

Viola odorata


Antirrhinum majus series

Dianthus barbatus Roundabout series

Erysimum cheiri series and cultivars

Lathyrus odoratus and cultivars

Scabiosa atropurpureum

Verbena x hybrida (most)