Chocolate Flowers for the Garden
Almost everybody loves chocolate. So why not have a garden that smells like chocolate? “Is that possible?” you may ask. And the answer is: “Absolutely!” There are plants that not only look decorative in the garden but are scented with chocolate scented leaves or flowers.
Perhaps the most perfect fit for a chocolate scented flower is the Chocolate Daisy, Berlandiera lyrata. This charming little yellow daisy has a green, brown and orange center and a lovely chocolate aroma. It is a very drought-tolerant plant that wants full sun.
For a velvety soft green and brown, scented-leaf geranium with a chocolate mint aura, try the scented geranium ‘Chocolate Mint’. (It’s really not a true ‘geranium’, but a Pelargonium). This plant can be grown indoors or outside where frosts are not a problem.
For a showy annual (that will last for a single season), go for the dark red Cosmos atrosanguineus known appropriately as the Chocolate Cosmos. This is not only a very decorative flower, but it will fill your garden with a delicious chocolate incense.
An herb that offers more chocolate mint flavor is the, (er, surprise!) ‘chocolate’ mint. The chocolate variety of the Mentha piperita is probably stronger on the mint side, but still adds a hint of chocolate.
You can find a chocolate scented variety of the lovely columbine with Aquilegia ‘Chocolate Soldiers’.
Look for the deciduous to semi-evergreen climber Akebia Quinata as a clambering vine with purple flowers that emit a delightful chocolate fragrance. This one can be invasive in some parts of the country so check with your local department of agriculture before planting it. Prune it back occasionally to keep it from growing too enthusiastically.
The Calycanthus floridus or Carolina allspice is a maroon-flowered shrub with a cinnamon-chocolate aroma to the flowers. The Carolina allspice can grow into a large bush and will perfume your whole garden.
If you want some chocolate scented flowers to make your house smell great indoors, try the orchid “Sharry Baby”. This is a variety of the Oncidium orchid with decoratively speckled and splashed red, maroon and white panicles of chocolate-perfumed flowers. It is one of the easier orchids to grow indoors.
And if you want your whole garden to have the essence of a chocolate factory, use cocoa mulch as a clean, attractive and fabulous smelling mulch. Cocoa mulch is good for the garden and smells terrific, but if you have canine pals that are likely to nibble your cocoa mulch, DON’T use it. Cocoa mulch contains the same theobromine as dark chocolate and, like all chocolate, is toxic – and can even be fatal – if eaten by a dog.
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