A scented mystery

Around this time of year, a heavenly scent permeates the night air of the Berea.  It comes from a tropical-looking plant, with thick, green leaves.  The flowers are closed during the day and open at dusk.

I have always thought it was indigenous but I’m unsure of its name or origins.  It is a very popular plant in gardens throughout Durban, partly because it is very easy to grow – just chop off a piece and plant.

Anyone have more information on it?

A scented mystery.

A scented mystery.

The flowers open at night and have a sweet, intense fragrance.

The flowers open at dusk and have a sweet, intense fragrance.

The flowers close during the day.

The flowers close during the day.

6 Responses to A scented mystery

  1. emme June 4, 2009 at 9:33 am #

    i think it’s called dracina (or make that ‘dracaena’ – thanks wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracaena_(plant). we’ve got loads in our garden (although the giant trees on the wiki site are nothing like the ones we have!) and the tiny mannequin birds love to nest in it. the smell pervades the garden in the evening and makes me feel all is right in the world.

  2. Ross June 9, 2009 at 9:14 am #

    Hey Niall & Emme, it is a Dracaena aletriformis, and yes it is indigenous to South Africa. The beautiful fragrance always catches me by surprise – I never expect it from such an unglamourous plant.

    It also makes a great indoor plant too…

  3. Sonya June 10, 2009 at 8:20 am #

    Niall, I want a piece of this for my garden please…

  4. Niall June 10, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    sure sons, happy birthday 😉

  5. gillian June 22, 2009 at 9:05 pm #

    Hi Mouldy, First time I have had a look at the site – it looks great. This draceana is not the indigenous one – rather plant the indig. one – it also has a good scent. I love the pics of the leonotus leonurus (sp?) in my garden. Now we have flowers on our erethrina lysestemon for the first time and the vernonia are in full flower too. Good luck. Gill

  6. gillian June 22, 2009 at 9:08 pm #

    Hi Mouldy, I love the pics of my leonotus – now trimmed down. The vernonia is flowering as is the erethryina lysestemon. The draceana is not indigenous but there is a lovely indig. one which also smells good at night. Rather don’t plant the exotic. Lots of luck Gill

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