Information about plants & gardens for Brisbane & Qld


Fragrant Gardens

While there are many fragrant plants on the market, the dream of walking into a garden that is filled with fragrance is not as easily achieved as you might think. Some problems include:

1. The perfume compounds being quickly evaporated and carried away in hot, dry and/or windy conditions

2. Many flowers produce their best fragrance at night, when you might not be able to appreciate it

3. Many plants are only in flower for a quite short time

4. Some supposedly fragrant plants might not be strong enough to have an impact

Some plants can produce a lot of fragrance even thought their flowers are not particularly showy.

Some plants have fragrant foliage, but need to be brushed or crushed before we can smell them.

Some fragrant plants suitable for Queensland

A more extensive list to come in future updates.

Other Information Online


Prehistoric perfumes

Flowers trapped in amber have shown that fragrance evolved as early as 100 million years ago - before showy petals - as a way of attracting pollinators to primitive flowers. Even though the scent compound themselves can't be analysed, but the tissues responsible can be identified. The fact that species alive today have retained similar structures suggests the fragrance chemicals produced were also similar. Source: Those fragrances you enjoy? Dinosaurs liked them first (August, 2018)

The not-as-sweet smell of warming temperatures

Increasing temperature reduces production of scent compounds in two petunia varieties tested. Subsequent interference with the ability to attract pollinators is another way in which climate change could alter plant development and ecological relationships. Source: Award-Winning Research: As Temperatures Rise, Flowers Emit Less Scent (June, 2016)

The rhythm of floral fragrance

An ordinary garden petunia, which releases its scent at night to attract pollinators such as months has been used to study the timing of fragrance. The LHY gene, which is associated with the circadian clock in many plants, was found to be active in the morning, regulating scent production through a suppressive effect. Scientists are now studying how pollinators respond to plants with and without altered LHY genes with a view to improving the pollination efficiency of crop species. Source: Researchers discover how petunias know when to smell good (June 2015)

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