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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - June 07, 2010

From: Milford, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant that smells like cinnamon in Milford OH
Answered by: Barbara Medford


Wanting to know what wildflower/weed would be so aromatic and smells like cinnamon? Always enjoy this wonderful smell when my husband and I ride the motorcycle, but don't know what it is. Would like to figure it out so I can plant it in my back yard, even if it is a weed ! Please help me ! Have been looking for years ! I need to know ! Thanks,


From a previous Mr. Smarty Plants answer to the same question:

"Here are some possibilities for your cinnamon-scented plant:

1. Dodecatheon meadia, Pride of Ohio or Shootingstar, native to Ohio

2. Dioscorea oppositifolia (formerly Dioscorea batatas), Cinnamon vine. Native to China, a tropical or sub-tropical plant, grows in Ohio, considered invasive.

3. Hesperis matronalis, Dame's Rocket, a Eurasian native and considered invasive.

The next time you smell the cinnamon-like scent, perhaps you will be able to determine which one it is (or if it is one) of these."

We found one more in our Native Plant Database, Calycanthus floridus. (eastern sweetshrub), native to Ohio.

Pictures of Dioscorea oppositifolia from Google

Pictures of Hesperis matronalis from Google

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

Calycanthus floridus

Calycanthus floridus

Dodecatheon meadia

Dodecatheon meadia






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