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Fragrant Flowering Shrubs

Variegated Japanese Mock Orange, Pittosporum tobira Variegatum

Fragrance in the garden must be planned. It is not a given that all flowering shrubs are fragrant. The descriptive superlatives of many shrubs lack fragrance.

The pleasure to be gained from fragrance is a most personal thing, so each gardener must select his or her flowers and develop a fragrant garden to individual taste and preference.

The best course in selecting fragrant shrubs is to visit them in the open garden while in bloom and fragrant before you purchase them. Certain notably fragrant cut flowers may not be as fragrant in the open garden. Keep a list of fragrant shrubs (and other plants) for future planting.

Here is a starter list of fragrant flowering shrubs.

Fragrant Flowering Shrubs

Botanical Name (Common Name)Zone
AzaleasRhododendron ‘Northern Lights’ (Azalea, Northern Lights)4-7
BouvardiaBouvardia longiflora (Bouvardia)9-10
Daphne odora. Daphne spp. (Daphne)Vary
GardeniaGardenia jasminoides (Gardenia)8-10
LoniceraLonicera spp. (Honeysuckle)3-9
ViburnumVibrnum carlesii (Viburnum, Korean spice)4-8
FotheregillaFothergilla spp. (Fothergilla)4-8
SyringiaSyringa spp. (Lilacs/not all)Varies
Pittosporum (lat. Pittosporum)Pittosporum tobira (Japanese pittosporum)8-10
Prunus cistena. Prunus x cistena (Purple-leaf sand cherry)2-8
Sweet Viburnum Flowers, Viburnum odoratissimum
Sweet Viburnum Flowers, Viburnum odoratissimum
Botanical Name (Common Name)Zone
 ElaeagnusElaeagnus pungens (Silverberry)7-9
Skimmia japonicaSkimmia japonica (Japanese skimmia)6-9
Clethra alnifoliaClethra alnifolia (Summersweet)3-9
CalycanthusCalycanthus floridus (Sweetshrub)4-9
Osmanthus x burkwoodiiOsmanthus fragrant (Sweet olive)8-9
ViburnumViburnum odoratissimum (Sweet viburnum)8-10
Rosa rugosaRosa spp. (Roses/not all)Vary
Hamamelis IntermediaHamamelis virginiana (Witch hazel)3-8

Also of interest:

Designing with Flowering Shrubs

Designing with Shrubs

How to Plant Shrubs

Bignonia capreolata

Vines for Shade

Planting evergreen shrub

November Zone-by-Zone Garden Tips