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Plants With Aromatic Leaves

Aromatic Plants of All Shapes and Sizes

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Picture of Canadian hemlock tree branch dusted with the winter's snow.

Picture of a graceful Canadian hemlock tree branch dusted with the winter's snow.

David Beaulieu

Page 1 dealt exclusively with one type of plant with aromatic leaves: namely, herbs. The present page gives a better sense of the diversity of the vegetation blessed with aromatic leaves, with examples ranging in size from 80-foot giants to viny plants that hug the ground.

Plants With Aromatic Leaves: Lantana

I hesitate somewhat to include lantana on this list of plants with aromatic leaves. Its foliage exudes a citrusy fragrance, which I, myself find intoxicating. But not everyone approves of this aroma: I suppose some find it too pungent. At the very least, you'll have to admit that lantana's foliage gives off one of the stronger, cleaner plant scents you'll ever smell.

Read article: Lantana

Plants With Aromatic Leaves: Hemlock

No, not poison hemlock (as in the hemlock that killed Socrates), but rather the evergreen native to North America. Many of the needled evergreens sport aromatic leaves, but what makes hemlock worth mentioning is that it is very popular as a hedge plant. So if you'd like a hedge that not only serves as a privacy screen, but also smells great, click the link below to learn more about hemlock.

Read article: Hemlock

A "Tweener": Bayberry Shrub

Somewhere in between lantana and hemlock, in terms of height, is bayberry shrub (not to be confused with bay laurel). As you would expect with a shrub bearing that kind of name, it's the berries of bayberry that usually come to mind when people think of this plant. But I'm including it here because its leaves exude a pleasant aroma when rubbed.

Read article: Bayberry Shrubs

Weedy Plants With Aromatic Leaves: Tansy

Even "weeds" can smell good. The last two plants with aromatic leaves that I'll mention are weeds worth knowing about, even though you wouldn't want to plant them.

Tansy is not a desirable herb to grow in the landscape -- especially in North America, where it is an invasive weed. Tansy is also toxic, both to people and to livestock. This weed does, however, enjoy a rich history of medicinal and culinary usage. Like yarrow (see Page 1, tansy has feathery, aromatic leaves. If you happen to see some tansy growing along the roadside, pluck a leaf and take a sniff!

Read article: Tansy

Weedy Plants With Aromatic Leaves: Ground Ivy

Ground ivy goes by a number of other names, too, including "creeping charlie" and "gill-over-the-ground." Another member of that odoriferous mint family, ground ivy used to be an herb held in high regard; nowadays, alas, it is considered an invasive lawn weed in North America. But I'll say one thing for ground ivy: mowing a lawn "invaded" by this weed will be a pleasure for your nose. As your mower blade slices into the ground ivy, its aromatic leaves will release a pleasing fragrance into the air -- blending with that more familiar freshly-mown-lawn smell. So while you may be trying to remove ground ivy from your lawn, remember to enjoy its aromatic leaves while it's still around!

Read article: Ground Ivy

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