Fragrant Flowers

Capture all of your senses by planting flowers that please your eyes and your nose.


Fragrant flower types consist of Annuals, Perennials, Roses, Vines, Shrubs, and Trees. 

Many flowers are scented, but only some are strong enough to perfume your outdoor living spaces. We invited 15 ornamental plant experts from nurseries across North America to nominate their strongly fragrant favorites. Here they are. 
Evening stock (M. longipetala) Small lilac colored blossoms with powerful lily-like perfume; excellent for window boxes and pots; 12 by 9 inches. 
Flowering tobaccos (Nicotiana alata, N. sylvestris, N. suaveolens) Plants with tubular white flowers, fragrant mostly at night; 2-6 by 3 feet. (Most hybrid bedding plant varieties have little scent.) 
Four-o'clock (Mirabilis jalapa and M. longiflora) Multicolored trumpet flowers cover bushy 2-foot-high plants. M. longiflora has white flowers with orange-blossom scent; 2 by 3 feet. 
Fragrant amaryllis (Clidanthus fragrans) Sweet-scented yellow crocus-like flowers in mid-summer; 8 by 8 inches; perennial bulb in Zones 9-11. 
Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens) Large violet or white flowerheads with a vanilla/cherry pie scent; 12 by 12 inches. 
Mignonette (Reseda odorata) Powerful vanilla/raspberry fragrance from small yellowish flowers; attracts beneficial insects; direct sow in early spring;12 by 9 inches. 
Night phlox (Zaluzianskya ovata) Unusual snowflake flowers are strongly fragrant at night; 1 by 2 feet. 
Peruvian daffodil (Hymenocallis species) Especially 'Sulfur Queen'; white or yellow spidery summer-blooming bulb; 18 inches high; perennial in zones 8-10. 
Petunia (Petunia) Many modern varieties have little fragrance, but old-fashioned white or purple vining types release a strong lily-like fragrance at dusk; 1 by 1-3 feet. 
Stock (Matthiola incana) Spicy clove-scented flower spikes; excellent cut flowers; thrives in cool weather; 2 by 1 feet. 
Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) Low-growing groundcover with honey-scented white flowers; highly attractive to beneficial insects; 6 by 8 inches. 
Tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) Extremely fragrant white flower spikes; late-summer bloom; 3 by 1 feet; perennial bulb hardy in Zones 8-10, grown as an annual in cooler climates. 
Virginian stock (Malcolmia maritima) Small red or purple flowers with powerful scent; prefers cool weather; 16 by 6 inches. 
Wallflowers (Erysimum asperum [biennial] and E. perofskianum) Short spikes of yellow or copper- colored flowers; 12 by 10 inches.
Sizes are given as height, followed by width; zone numbers in parentheses mean the plant is not reliably cold-hardy, but might survive in sheltered areas. 
Autumn snakeroot (Cimicifuga simplex) Foot-long spikes of white flowers in autumn; partial shade; 3 by 2 feet; Zones 4-8. 
Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis) Clusters of pink, red, or white 3 inch flowers in summer and autumn, 24 by 20 inches; Zones 3-9. 
Chocolate daisy, aka green-eyes (Berlandiera lyrata) Chocolate-scented yellow daisy flowers through summer and fall;12 by 12 inches; Zones 7-9. 
Creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera) 'Bruce's White'; shade tolerant; spring blooms; 1 by 1 foot; Zones 2-8. 
Cut leaf violet (Viola dissecta) 1 inch white or rose flowers and very attractive divided leaves; 6 inches tall; Zones 6-9. 
Daffodils (Narcissus) Many varieties in the poeticus, triandrus, jonquilla and tazetta groups are highly fragrant, especially 'Buffawn', 'Canarybird', 'Cragford', 'Geranium', 'Trevithian', and 'Tripartite. 
'Kathy Rood' is by far the most fragrant daylily I have ever grown. It has a persistent, wonderful scent, fully double flowers, and it blooms for a long time." —Mary Baker, Regional Vice President, American Hemerocallis Society