Great Plant Picks chosen based on fragrance

  • By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
  • Tuesday, February 11, 2014 5:20pm
  • Life

For many gardeners, the appeal of a plant often is based on its fragrance.

The lovely smell might emanate from the bloom, the leaves or the seed pods in scents that are floral, fresh, spicy or woodsy.

Fragrance is the theme of this year’s Great Plant Picks from the Elisabeth Carey Miller Botanical Garden in Seattle.

Annually revealed during the Northwest Flower and Garden Show, Great Plant Picks is an educational program of the Miller garden. More information about the program is available at

Richie Steffen, curator of the Miller garden, and Rick Peterson, the Great Plant Picks manager, have come up with a list of “plants that make scents.”

In researching fragrant plants to add to the list, Steffen and Peterson discovered that the perfume industry in the mid-1980s developed a fragrance wheel, much like the color wheel used in fashion.

“It listed tones that we ended up using in our plant picks. It made us think about how people might use scented plants in their gardens,” Steffen said. “The fragrance wheel included floral — and not just roses and lilies, fresh grassy and citrus tones, spicy cinnamon and vanilla, and woodsy evergreen and sage scents.

Click here to see what Steffen had to say about some of the plants they picked.

Even more

For the complete list of Great Plant Picks for 2014 go to

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