En Español

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

Wednesday - August 21, 2013

From: Spring Branch, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: General Botany
Title: Fragrance in fragrant plants.
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

Why are some flowering plants known for fragrance not fragrant or as fragrant? Is it a nutrition deficiency or just the plant?

ANSWER:

It isn’t clear to Mr. Smarty Plants what you are asking. The word fragrance  is a noun, and the word fragrant   is an adjective.

 Fragrance in plants is most often associated with flowers, and it is presumed by some people that the purpose of the fragrance is to attract pollinators. Other parts of some plants are fragrant such as the leaves of herbs eg parsely, sage, rosemary, and thyme as well as members of the mint family. The fragrance is due to the production of volatile oils and is characteristic to the particular species.

The production of the volatile oils is part  of the plant’s natural metabolism, and maybe a nutrient deficiency could affect the amount of oil production, and thus the fragrance, similar to the way a deficiency in nitrogen affects the production of chlorophyll, which results in yellow leaves.

Perhaps you could reformulate your question, and give us another chance.

 

More General Botany Questions

Project on natives in Connecticut from Chino CA
April 13, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, My 10 yr. old daughter is doing a project on Ct., and would like to know what the most common plants, trees and flowers are found in this state. A few of each would be a great ...
view the full question and answer

Contacts with botanical illustrators
July 16, 2006 - I am interested in preparing 3D (stereoscopic) illustrations of plants and flowers. Can you give some contacts with botanical illustrators for guidance? Are there any guidelines about botanical illust...
view the full question and answer

Differences in prostrate Mimosa species
May 27, 2013 - There are apparently a lot of little pink puffy-flowered prostrate plants with thorny stems and sensitive leaves: Mimosa microphylla, Mimosa roemeriana, Mimosa strigillosa. How does one tell them apar...
view the full question and answer

Why do some flowers open during the day and close at night?
April 08, 2009 - My son is doing a science fair project on the California Poppies. We are trying to find the definitive answer on why the flowers open during the day and close at night.
view the full question and answer

Have invasive plants no useful purpose from Anchorage AK
September 03, 2011 - Does the definition of invasive plants include that the plant has no useful purpose? Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center