Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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 Shrubs Questions

Hedge border for Boynton Beach FL
September 21, 2009 - Seek recommendations for planting in zip code 33437: 2-2.5' high, dense formal hedge border: minimal care, full sun, sandy, 1-2x/wk irrigation. Is Ficus Green Island Microcarpa suitable? Other rec...
view the full question and answer

Purple sage with black residue on leaves in Georgetown TX
October 02, 2009 - I have 2 very healthy tx. purple sage that have developed a black residue on some leaves, and is a "sticky" substance..any ideas what this is and how to treat???
view the full question and answer

Climbing options for a Coral honeysuckle in Austin Texas
April 16, 2013 - Regarding Coral honeysuckle, what is the best support to encourage continued spread, chicken-wire/fencing? Currently the plants and vines are on fencing and beginning to fold over. I'd like to add...
view the full question and answer

Cenizo for border of school garden from Cedar Park TX
January 27, 2014 - Hi. We're starting a school garden in Central Texas, and instead of building a fence along one side, we'd like to plant a hedge. Ideally, it would grow tall enough to deter deer from jumping over, b...
view the full question and answer

Baby mountain laurels are ready to move, in Lockhart Texas
October 19, 2011 - I want to harvest the baby mountain laurel plants which are growing under a large bush. What height would be best for the young plants survival? Please recommend a soil mixture for the pots.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.