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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

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Monday - July 11, 2005

From: Rock Island, IL
Region: Midwest
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Possible cinnamon-scented plants in Mississippi delta
Answered by: Joe Marcus and Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I used to live in Mississippi and now live in Illinois. I am trying to find what plant or tree has a strong cinnamon-like scent that fills the air. I noticed this scent driving through the delta in Mississippi. Yesterday, I was at a park near the Mississippi River in Illinois and noticed that scent again. I have asked but nobody seems to know. Thank you very much.

ANSWER:

Here are some possibilities for your cinnamon-scented plant:

Discorea oppositifolia [synonym: Discorea batatas] (Cinnamon vine, Chinese yam or potato vine) an Asian native that occurs in Pennsylvania.   Here are more photos and information from Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide.

Dodecatheon meadia (Pride-of-ohio) is native to Pennsylvania.   Here is more information from Crescentbloom.com.

Hesperis matronalis (Dame's rocket) is a Eurasian native and is considered invasive or a noxious weed in many parts of the US.  It does grow in Pennsylvania.  Here is more information from Seedaholic.com.

The next time you smell the cinnamon-like scent, perhaps you will be able to determine which one it is (or if it is one) of these.

 

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