There are fragrant flowers, and there are edible flowers, but what about flowers that smell like something everyone loves to eat? If the notion of chocolate scented flowers surprises you or causes doubt, it shouldn’t: after all, what is chocolate but the product of a tropical plant? No perfumer can replicate the exact fragrance profile of chocolate the way nature can, so consider planting one or more of these chocolate-scented flowering plants in your garden.
01 of 06
Your search for an off-the-beaten-path shrub is over. Not too large at six to ten feet, but substantial enough to act as an anchor to a mature mixed flower border, the Carolina allspice boasts a handsome flush of burgundy blooms in the spring, followed by more occasional flowers throughout the summer. One whiff will reveal the reason behind its nickname "sweetshrub." Give plants a full to partial sun exposure in zones 4 to 9.
02 of 06
With its deepest maroon flowers, the heirloom 'Chocolate Solider' columbine is a garden designer's delight. This perennial wildflower nourishes bees and butterflies with its sweet nectar, blooming in the spring on 12-inch plants. Place your named columbine plants away from other columbines, to prevent unwanted cross-pollinating.
03 of 06
The petite flowers of Berlandiera lyrata may not be as attention-grabbing as some other members of the aster family, but no others have such a rich chocolaty fragrance. Go ahead, pluck the petals for the old "he loves me, he loves me not" game, and release the aroma from the yellow blossoms. These hardy wildflowers may bloom spring through fall, and are easy to start from seed.
04 of 06
Vines fill so many niches in the garden; why not make room for a chocolate-scented one? The Akebia quinata chocolate vine has a small footprint in the garden, but will soar up to 40 feet after a few seasons to get established. Look for purple, rose, or white flowers in early spring on plants that will grow in full sun to partial shade in zones 4-8.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
The 'Chocolate' cosmos variety Cosmos astrosanguineus is every bit as easy to grow for the beginning gardener as the pink, orange, and white types your grandparents grew. Excellent as a flowering vegetable garden companion, the dark brown flowers appear at the height of summer, and are marvelously drought resistant. Frequent cutting for the vase only spurs the development of more flowers, so bring the chocolate fragrance to your vase as you please.
06 of 06
As a tropical houseplant, it's hard to beat the appeal of exotic orchids. Thriving in the indirect light of home interiors, all orchids like Oncidium 'Sharry Baby' ask for is a humid environment and a planting medium with excellent drainage, like shredded bark. Orchids are plants that actually enjoy being root-bound, so you may not need to move this plant to new digs for several years after planting. Expect the burgundy blooms to begin to form in the fall on two-foot plants.