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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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Thursday - April 04, 2013

From: Akron, OH
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Non-Natives, Plant Identification
Title: Identity of plant at funeral that smells similar to honeysuckle
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

What plant or flower smells similar to honeysuckle? I live in Ohio and I smelled some kind of flower or plant at a friends funeral last spring that smelled similar to honeysuckle. It wasn't honeysuckle but it smelled kinda like Honeysuckle. I could not smell each of the flowers to find out which one it was, so I don't know what it looked like. It did not have that typical, rosy, floral, funeral flower smell to it at all. But it must have been a flower or plant that a local florist used in their flower arrangement. I smelled a few honeysuckle plants and they were not the same smell so I'm sure it's some other flower or plant that smells similar yet different. Thanks for reading my question.

ANSWER:

First of all, our focus and expertise at the Wildflower Center are with plants native to North America.   It would be very unusual for the florist who provided the arrangements for the funeral you attended to use native plants in the floral tribute to your friend; therefore, we aren't really the people who can answer your question.  Secondly, without a description of the plant that produced the fragrance, it is virtually an impossible mystery to solve from afar.   However, I do have some suggestions to help you learn what flowers smelled like honeysuckle.  

  • First, contact the funeral home that was in charge of the services and ask them if they have a record of the florists who supplied the various arrangements.   If they can give you a list of florists, then visit the ones near you and ask them if they have a record of the flowers that they prepared for your friend's funeral.   You can also learn from the florist which of the flowers have a fragrance and if they have them in stock for you to smell.
  • If the funeral home can't (or won't) provide the names of the florists for your friend's funeral, then google "funeral flowers Akron" and find a florist near you who makes "sympathy" arrangements.  I am betting that they will be able to tell you some likely candidates for the fragrant flowers and will probably have some on hand for you to smell..
 

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