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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.

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

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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.

 
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Wednesday - January 20, 2010

From: Phenix City , AL
Region: Southeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Plant in North Georgia Mountains with strong fragrance
Answered by: Nan Hampton and Joe Marcus

QUESTION:

I need to ask a question about a plant in the North Georgia Mountains which are part of the Appalachian Mountains.I need help trying to figure out what plant in the North Georgia Mountains and the Appalachian mountains are putting off a very strong fragrance smell and when I mean strong, the smell is strong. This is a plant that you don't have to stick your nose into to smell. The plant's fragrance is so strong you can smell it from a good distance. I mainly smell the strong fragrance mostly during the hot summer months in certain parts of the mountains. Thank you and please give me some advice.

ANSWER:

There are a number of very fragrant species of plants in the North Georgia mountains and you haven't really given us enough information about the plant for us to definitely identify it.  Here are a couple of very fragrant plants that come immediately to mind, however:

Calycanthus floridus (eastern sweetshrub) and here's more information

Oxydendrum arboreum (sourwood) and here's more information

For us to be able to give you a definite identification for your plant, we suggest that next summer you follow the scent to the plant itself and take photos to send us and we will do our very best to identify it.  Please visit Mr. Smarty Plants' Plant Identification page to read instructions for submitting photos for identification.

Here are photos from our Image Gallery of the two trees above:


Calycanthus floridus

Calycanthus floridus

Oxydendrum arboreum

Oxydendrum arboreum

 

 

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