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

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

Where do snake herb and skeleton-leaf goldeneye get their names?
October 05, 2014 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, Where does snake herb, and skeleton leaf goldeneye get their names from? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

White and red Turk's cap and possible crossing
September 18, 2013 - I have had some white Turk's cap for several years. This year, some red Turk's cap has appeared among it. I have the red in another location. Will the red become dominant if I leave it among the whi...
view the full question and answer

Simple flowers vs. compound flowers
August 23, 2008 - Please, give the characteristics of a "simple flower" as distinct from a compound flower which has rays and "disk flowers". What type of flower is the flower of a chive,which seems to be composed...
view the full question and answer

Source for DNA sequencing of Opuntia species
March 04, 2014 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants, I am trying to do a Opuntia speciation study, and rather just identifying the species by morphological comparison, I would also like to go a little deeper by comparing the DNA...
view the full question and answer

Century plant dying after bloom
August 12, 2007 - My century plant is so tall that it is up to the top of the telephone pole top lines that carry our streets electric. I was wanting to know if you knew if I cut the stock off would it save the plant ...
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
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center