For devoted flower lovers, the color, foliage and scent of the plants is what motivates their cultivation. But why stop with annuals or plantings in pots and planters, when you could plant flowering trees possessing many of the same characteristics? Regardless of where you live, numerous species of trees exist that possess the same delightful qualities.
A sure sign of spring is the light, sweet fragrance of the lilac (Syringa vulgaris). It is not a native plant. English settlers bought this woody shrub with them when they colonized North America. The lilac, purple or pure white blossoms of the plant form in dense clusters called panicles; they possess a pleasant scent that lingers on warm spring breezes. The plants prefer growing in moist soil where air circulation is good and there is plenty of sunshine. A mature specimen may grow to about 16 feet in height.
Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) or evergreen magnolia is another native species of flowering tree renowned for the scent of its blooms. Native to the states of the "Old South," the five-petaled blossoms of this tree will sometimes grow to 8 inches across. Fully matured, a southern magnolia will grow into a large tree, sometimes 80 feet in height. So if you reside in Dixie and adore the scent of this evergreen hardwood, plant it in an open space where the soil is rich, well-drained and receives abundant sunshine.
For many homeowners living in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11, the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) is grown for its fragrant blossoms as much as for the delicious fruit it produces. Pure white in color, the small blossoms put forth an intoxicating scent that almost instantly draws honey bees. If you enjoy gardening and beekeeping, planting sweet oranges will yield three benefits: wonderful smelling flowers, fresh home grown fruit and orange blossom honey, which is incredibly sweet, light colored and delicious. The Valencia cultivar might make an excellent choice.
Improved Meyer Lemon
The improved Meyer lemon (Citrus meyeri) is another ideal candidate if you wish to plant a tree with both fragrant blossoms and tasty fruit. The parent stock of this Chinese lemon was originally imported into the United States in the 1920s. This species will grow well if you live in south Florida, southern California, the Phoenix, Arizona, area or near the Texas Gulfcoast. The delightfully sweet aroma of lemon blossoms, along with plenty of fixings for pitchers of homemade lemonade, could make the improved Meyer lemon an ideal addition to your yard.