17 Favorite Fragrant Flowers

Grow these bloomers to perfume your garden-and your home.

Lilac (Syringa x 'Declaration')
Star-shaped reddish purple flowers appear in large dramatic clusters in early spring. The scent is spicy sweet-the essence of spring. The deciduous shrub reaches 6 to 8 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide; it takes full sun, or light shade in the hottest climates. Most lilacs bloom best in regions with winter chill (Sunset climate zones A1-A3; 1-11, 14-16). In mild winter areas (zones 18-22), try Descanso Hybrids.

'Scarlet Pineapple' sage'Scarlet Pineapple' sage
'Scarlet Pineapple' sage (Salvia elegans)

This shrubby perennial reaches 4 feet tall, and has bright red flowers and foliage that smells like ripe pineapple. Zones 5-24.

Lemon verbenaLemon verbena
Lemon verbena (Aloysia triphylla)

A tall, lanky deciduous shrub, it has lemon-scented leaves and lilac or white flowers. Zones 9, 10, 12-21.

Angelwing jasmineAngelwing jasmine
Angelwing jasmine (Jasminum laurifolium nitidum)

This semi-evergreen vine has glossy green leaves and pinwheel-shaped white flowers. Sunset climate zones 12, 16, 19-24, H1, H2.

Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens)
Though the purple varieties are more common, the white-flowered form is the most fragrant. Perennial in zones 15-17, 23, 24, H1, H2; annual elsewhere.


Many old types--including Bourbon, China, and damask--are fragrant, and more and more modern varieties, such as 'Yves Piaget', are too. Zones vary by species.

Lemon-scented geraniumsLemon-scented geraniums
Lemon-scented geraniums

Look for the variety 'Prince Rupert' or 'Mabel Gray'. Perennial in Sunset climate zones 8, 9, 12-24; grow elsewhere as annual.

Mock orangeMock orange
Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius)

White four-petaled flowers cover this tall shrub. Sunset climate zones A1-A3, 1a, 2-24.


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