En EspaŅol

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Sunday - April 14, 2013

From: Sedona, AZ
Region: Southwest
Topic: Plant Identification, Shrubs
Title: Identification of fragrant, white-flowered bush in Arizona
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I'd like to identify a flowering bush which has white sweet-smelling flowers. It is growing in the Coconino National Forest in the area near the Airport vortex/Airport mesa in Sedona, Arizona. It is flowering now, end of March, beginning of April. I've lived in Sedona for 12 years and this is the first time I have noticed this plant, mostly because of the sweet smell and abundant flowers this year. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and the Plants of the Sonoran Desert has a section on Fragrant Flowers and Plants.  I used that database plus our Native Plant Database to produce the following list of possibilities for your fragrant white bush.

Ageratina wrightii (White mistflower)  Here is more information from TAMU Aggie Horticulture.

Aloysia gratissima (Whitebrush)  Here is more information from TAMU Aggie Horticulture.

Baccharis salicifolia (Mule's fat)  Here is more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.

Bursera microphylla (Elephant tree)  Here are photos and more information from Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and CalPhotos Berkeley.

Ceanothus greggii (Desert ceanothus)  Here is more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.

Cephalanthus occidentalis (Common buttonbush)  Here is more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.

Cercocarpus montanus (Alderleaf mountain mahogany)  Here is more information from Southwest Colorado Wildflowers.

Chilopsis linearis (Desert willow)   Here is more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.

Crossosoma bigelovii (Crossosoma)    Here is more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.

Fendlera rupicola (Cliff fendlerbush)  Here is more information from TAMU Aggie Horticulture.

Jamesia americana (Cliffbush)  Here is more information from Water-Wise Plants for Utah Landscapes.

Mimosa aculeaticarpa (Catclaw mimosa)  Here is more information from Delange's Arizona Wildflowers.

Philadelphus microphyllus (Littleleaf mock orange)  Here is more information from Southwest Colorado Wildflowers.

Purshia stansburiana (Cliff-rose)  Here is more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.  There is even a rare double-flowered variety.

Rhus trilobata (Skunkbush sumac)  Here is more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.

Sambucus nigra ssp. caerulea (Blue elder)  Here are more photos from CalPhotos Berkeley.

Sambucus nigra ssp. canadensis (Common elderberry)  Here is more information from Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers.

 

More Plant Identification Questions

Plant Identification from Ephrata PA
May 04, 2010 - I've come across a low plant with bright green leaves and a distinct burgundy on the leaf. I've been told it's called Throw Me Over The Fence, but I believe it must be called something else. I be...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from The Woodlands TX
July 22, 2013 - Your plant database does not distinguish 2 native tree species. Common names for these 2 trees: American hophornbeam and ironwood or musclewood. These common names are used for both trees - even m...
view the full question and answer

Plant identfication
September 28, 2009 - I live in Kyle Texas and my neighbor has a tree with white blooms and when they fall off the twigs have a wavy look at the end with no leaves. we spoke to a nursery and they thought maybe an eve's ne...
view the full question and answer

Tall lily with dark berry at leaf attachment
June 25, 2012 - A lily showed up in my flower garden last year (central Illinois); about 3' tall, a single dark berry at the stem where each leaf is attached. It didn't flower. This year it's approaching 4' tall ...
view the full question and answer

Differences between Ratibida columnifera and Ratibida peduncularis
June 03, 2010 - How do you tell the difference between Ratibida columnifera and Ratibida peduncularis. On NPIN columnifera has red and penduncularis is solid yellow, but I have seen pictures listed as columnifera tha...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center