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Thursday, September 9, 2010

That peanut butter bush, explained

Years ago, when we moved into our current home, the Mrs. did some wonderful landscaping that we still enjoy today. One of the early improvements, however, involved removing a shrub whose leaves smelled like peanut butter. We never did figure out what it was, but we still talk about it once in a while.

One person's weed is another person's glorious plant. Today Lelo tells us all about said plant (a tree, actually) and why she loves it, here.

Comments (8)

Too bad that is a lovely small tree with beautiful fragrant flowers that form very interesting and colorful seed pods, and not bad looking autumn foliage.

If you're looking for a great smelling tree, try the Tree-Of-Heaven (ailanthus altissimus), which smells just like buttered popcorn when you rub the leaves. It was originally brought over from China to California during the Gold Rush era, and is now considered a weed, so you can't buy one at a nursery. It's claim to fame is that is was the species of tree featured in the movie, "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn."

That small tree becomes an invasive pest....or did in the place I located one. It sent out runners under the walkway, to put up suckers over six feet away (and in a rosebed in which I did not want a small tree/shrub.

The fragrance of the blooms is 'soapy' and strong, but a lot of folks like it...I did, before I found out about the nature of the tree/shrub.

So...I understand the attraction, but be forewarned.

There are a few different kinds Jack, including another that grows more like a bush and is more, well, stinky. It's possible you had one of the other less desirable ones. Godfry, one man's suckers is another man's gift: I've given many away to grateful friends, but the others are easy to clip out. Happy gardening Jack!

Just say 'no' to Boxwoods (they smell like cat pee)

The Tree of Heaven (ailanthus) is also known as the Tree of Hell - I have a very large one that is probably dying, that, despite the great shade on the west side of the house, I will be very glad to be rid of. Drops seeds and sends out runners constantly. I probably fill the yard debris cart two or three times just with suckers I've pulled up, and the root mats they create in garden beds. They will grow anywhere, and destroy your foundation in the process. Just say NO to the Tree of Heaven!

Why linger on flora of ambiguous sensual delight when there is an older variety of bearded iris that smells like root beer? Can there be anyone for whom the scent of root beer does not evoke at least one pleasant memory? At any rate, it's a modest beauty -- two shades of purple on the reddish side. Schreiner's in Keizer does not list it, offering some other variety as the sole root beer scented iris; but there is a patch on the west side of NE 24th, north of Regent. More specific directions would be unneighborly.

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