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Which viburnum smells better?

Posted by hortster 6A, southcentral KS (My Page) on
Sat, May 29, 10 at 22:18

Been gettin' into an argument with other local viburnum aficionados about which viburnum smells better, Korean spice (V. carlesi) or fragrant viburnum (V. carlcephalum) or Juddi Viburnum (V. X Juddi). V. burkwoodii has had some play in this, as well. Some say that they are indistinguishable, another says one is stronger or different, etc. Won't tell you which one, but one is in the yard and I love it, swear by it for fragrance. Smelled 'em all. What sayeth you, Viburnum sniffers? We will let the forum give us the vote if you are willing!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Which viburnum smells better?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, May 30, 10 at 0:22

Korean spice.

RE: Which viburnum smells better?

Fragrance of various plants is very subjective -- much is in the nose of the beholder :-) A similar sniff-off here resulted in xjuddii winning the prize. More intense and penetrating fragrance that carried a long distance.

RE: Which viburnum smells better?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, May 30, 10 at 13:38

Judd viburnum also said to be better than Korean spice in other respects. I'm not sure I've encountered it.

RE: Which viburnum smells better?

i only have one.. mohawk.. and it is to die for.. at 10 to 20 feet when in bloom ... down wind, of course ...


Final results

  • Posted by hortster 6A, southcentral KS (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 1, 10 at 22:23

OK. When I give this to my friends this is the final results. My vote is for the Juddii that I have by my patio - I almost swoon each time when I let our dog out! Juddii = 2-1/2 votes (bboy gave it kind of a half!), Korean spice (yes, you can vote twice in this informal survey, bboy!) = 1, and V. burkwoodii 'Mohawk' = 1.

RE: Which viburnum smells better?

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Wed, Jun 2, 10 at 11:30

Maybe Dirr says something about this in his viburnum book.

RE: Which viburnum smells better?

I only have two that are fragrant, Mohawk and Aurora and I like Aurora better of those two. It was slower growing though. I had to wait quite some time to get any blooms at all. To me, both smell better from a distance than they do up close.

RE: Which viburnum smells better?

Why, of course I'll take the bait...

I'd venture to say that unless you've compared your olfactory offerings at a variety of temperatures, wind conditions, and inflorescence age - you are just sniffing in the wind.

I have each of the species/clones mentioned here and more, around a dozen total. There are distinct characteristics that can separate the flowers' fragrances, but unless you are willing to cut the various stems/flowers and bring them into a "neutral corner" (like indoors in your kitchen or some such) for evaluation, you really can't make an honest or remotely objective comparison.

I'd throw out words like spiciness, sweetness, heavy cloyingness, and lightness when describing fragrance. Imagine the wine snob who needs a bottle to breathe before it opens up, or the necessity of aeration or decanting before imbibing. Extreme? Only if you are serious in your position or absoluteness in declaring which is "best".

You cannot say so, if you haven't done so. And - who is still trying to make this decision at the end of May/early June? Fragrant viburnums were done blooming a month ago!

That's like trying to remember who kissed best in high school...

BTW - these are the fragrant ones I have here at the Valley:

**Viburnum farreri
**Viburnum farreri 'Album'
**Viburnum x bodnantense 'Dawn'
**Viburnum b!tchiuense
**Viburnum carlesii
**Viburnum carlesii 'Aurora'
**Viburnum carlesii Spiced Bouquet
**Viburnum x juddii
**Viburnum x 'Cayuga'
**Viburnum x burkwoodii
**Viburnum x burkwoodii 'Mohawk'
**Viburnum x burkwoodii 'Fulbrook'
**Viburnum x burkwoodii 'Chenaultii'
**Viburnum x carlcephalum
**Viburnum x 'Conoy'
**Viburnum x 'Chesapeake'


  • Posted by hortster 6A, southcentral KS (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 3, 10 at 12:50

viburnumvalley, envy your collection. I think I have my answer! You are correct, scent is subjective. Must admit I never isolated the flowers in a neutral location to make the comparison. However, back in high school I do remember this one really great kisser...LOL.

RE: Which viburnum smells better?

And thus it should be, hortster - personal, subjective, and satisfying - with plants AND people.

The best answer is: enjoy as many as you have room for, and when you run out of space, encourage neighbors to plant the others.

One can never have too many viburnums...

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