The Best Fragrant Flowers

Fragrant flowers, with their scents carried by the breeze, can be on shrubs, trees, vines or simply standalone flowers. Some of the best fragrant flowers quickly come to mind; others, you may not have thought of. Below are some particularly good, hardy examples of fragrant flowers: some very easy to grow, and even some drought-tolerant choices.

Southern Magnolia

Magnolia grandiflora, known as the Southern magnolia or bull bay, is a fragrant evergreen tree that is drought-tolerant. It can get 60 to 90 feet tall with a 2- to 3-foot wide trunk. Leaves are dark green, glossy, and 5 to 8 inches long. Flowers are white, very fragrant, 8 to 12 inches wide, and show up in spring and summer. Fruits are cones, 2 to 4 inches long, with red seeds. Grow Southern magnolia in full sun to partial shade in well drained, acidic soils. Propagate via cuttings, grafting and by seed.

Frikart's Aster

Aster x frikartii, known as the Frikart's aster or simply aster, is a fragrant, easy-to-grow perennial. It will get 2 to 3 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. Leaves are dark green, hairy, and hidden by the productive blooms. Flowers are daisy-like and lavender-blue in color, and last around two months. Grow Frikart's aster in full sun and well-drained soil. Propagate by spring division or by seed.


Dahlia spp., known as the dahlia or garden dahlia, is from the aster/daisy family. It is a fragrant perennial that is good in container gardening. There are many different cultivars of the dahlia. On average, they have toothed or feathery leaves and strong stems. Flowers are showy, come in various colors, are scented, and get between 2 and 10 inches wide. Grow dahlia in good mulched ground with full sun and moist, well-drained conditions. Propagate via division in spring, seed, or cuttings in winter.

Winter Honeysuckle

Lonicera fragrantissima, known as the winter honeysuckle or bush honeysuckle, is from the honeysuckle family. It is a fragrant shrub with many blooms. It reaches 6 to 8 feet in height and 8 to 10 feet wide. Leaves are slender and on arching stems. Flowers come winter, in white, under 1 inch long, and very fragrant. Grow winter honeysuckle in partial shade or full sun in well-drained soil. Prune 1 to 2 times a year. Propagate via spring softwood cuttings, seed, or by stem rooting.


Hyacinthus orientalis, known as the hyacinth or Dutch hyacinth, is from the lily family. It is a fragrant perennial good for indoor use or container gardening. Leaves are strap-like and narrow. Flowers come on 12-inch stalks in spring with colors ranging from red, yellow, pink, orange, blue and white, to lavender. Flowers are funnel-shaped and fragrant. Grow hyacinth in full sun in the north and partial shade in the south. Propagate via offsets.

Keywords: fragrant flowers, plants that are fragrant, best fragrant flowers

About this Author

Tina Samuels has been a full-time freelance writer for more than 10 years, concentrating on health and gardening topics, and a writer for 20 years. She has written for "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living," and "Mature Years," as well as online content. She has one book, “A Georgia Native Plant Guide,” offered through Mercer University; others are in development.