Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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 Plant Identification Questions

Identity of a plant in Florida with red fruit like a small tomato
September 03, 2012 - It looks like a small tomato but it isn't. It has a bunch of flakey seeds on the inside, which are a light brown in color. The outside is red, and I think it starts out growing green and also white....
view the full question and answer

Books for plant identification of native California species
March 14, 2008 - When I was going to college, many years ago, there was a field book for plant identification for California native species. I am trying to find that book again or at least a good pocket book on plant...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
September 30, 2007 - We found this plant or something or other in our yard, in the area we found it usually stays wet and it was behind a old tree that was done. It has three big green leaves with a white stem that kind ...
view the full question and answer

Plants indigenous to Sedona, AZ
July 07, 2010 - I live in Sedona AZ and I want to plant indigenous plants in my garden. Is there a list of AZ native plants shrubs and trees that are indigenous to Sedona? If there is no list that is specific f...
view the full question and answer

Plant ID from Rigin TX
August 18, 2010 - I have noticed a low growing plant with slick geranium shaped leaves. Today (August 17) I found a tiny- about half inch five sided pod on it. Each side is shaped like a heart! Have not noticed any f...
view the full question and answer

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