Gardeners pick flowers for appearance, size, light needs, climate, blooming season and a variety of other reasons, but many never consider fragrance. A sweet bloom is often looked on as a happy coincidence, something enjoyed but never planned for. Smell is a powerful thing, however, and the sweet scent of a flowering plant can greatly enhance your enjoyment of a garden.
Also known as Carolina allspice, common sweetshrub and strawberry shrub, Calycanthus floridus is a deciduous shrub from the southeastern United States. Calycanthus floridus thrives in a wide range of light conditions, from full sun to full shade. It grows between 4 and 7 feet tall, and exudes a spicy fragrance from its brown flowers, particularly in the evening. The leaves are a dark, rich green and are fragrant when they are crushed.
Phlox stolonifera or creeping phlox is a woodland ground cover vine that likes partial shade. An evergreen shade plant, Phlox stolonifera creates a thick mat on the ground and shoots up lustrous purple flowers on 8-inch stems in the spring. Like other species of phlox, Phlox stolonifera is known for its sweet scent and ability to attract butterflies.
Often called the corn plant, Dracaena fragrans is a lush green deciduous plant that grows in conditions from full shade to partial sun. It can be grown as a tree from a seed or from a cane cutting, or as a diminutive shrub if the gardener roots the crown of the Dracaena fragrans. This shade plant requires very little water and is excellent at cleaning toxins from the air, making it a great indoor plant. Dracaena fragrans has extremely peculiar flowering properties. The plant can take 5 years to flower for the first time and, when it does, it exudes a powerful sweet scent noticeable a block away. Once this happens, the Dracena will flower yearly.