Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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

Monday - August 05, 2013

From: Pittsburgh, PA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Cinnamon scented plant growing along Pennsylvania rivers
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I've walked along both the Youghiogheny and Monongahela Rivers around my hometown and I've noticed moments at which time I would smell the strong, sweet aroma of cinnamon. Given the riverside environments, what's the most likely plant life that may be causing the strong smell? Thank you for your time.

ANSWER:

Here are some possibilities.  All of these plants grow in Pennsylvania—both the natives and non-natives:

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.

 Calycanthus floridus (Eastern sweetshrub) is native to Pennsylvania.  Here is more information from Plants for a Future.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern shooting star
Dodecatheon meadia

Eastern shooting star
Dodecatheon meadia

Eastern shooting star
Dodecatheon meadia

Eastern sweetshrub
Calycanthus floridus

Eastern sweetshrub
Calycanthus floridus

More Plant Identification Questions

Want to identify thorny vines growing in Charlotte Hall, MD
April 25, 2013 - I have vines with thorns growing in my wood, vining around the trees and killing them. It grows and vines go up trees of any height all the way to the top. It has green pointy leaves. If it doesn't...
view the full question and answer

Can you identify a funny looking bulb that I bought at the grocery store? Probably not..
May 06, 2010 - I looked through your data base and did not find what I was looking for. I bought this funny looking bulb at a grocery store. It looked like a giant shriveled spider when i bought them. Due to lack of...
view the full question and answer

Identification of rose campion
August 04, 2007 - My friend shared a plant with me and I cannot identify it. She said that it was Rose Campriow? or something like this. It has very small pink/purplish blooms with grey green foliage. It is a perenn...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification, Chinese Lantern
September 06, 2007 - I have a plant growing along my fenceline that I am unsure of what it is. Some ppl have said it is a rare Chinese Lantern plant. I looked that up and it doesn't match. The plant right now sits about ...
view the full question and answer

Identification of spiky red berry in Connecticut
September 25, 2011 - I found an odd berry outside of my school, none of the science teachers know what it is though. It kind of looks like a spiked cherry. It has spikes on the outside, a pit on the insde, and has pinkish...
view the full question and answer

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