I talked last Friday about lecturing on house plants and how I always talk about the importance of interesting leaves in a house plant collection.
Another thing I mention–although it’s not as important as colorful leaves–and it’s much more elusive–is fragrance.
Fragrance can be tricky. The classic example of this is paperwhite narcissus. I’ve mentioned that I like the smell of those, but many people don’t. In fact, many people find the scent downright objectionable.
Jasmine is another one (Jasminum officinale). In small doses, it’s a heavenly scent. But once the whole plant starts blooming, it can be so overwhelming, it can actually give me a headache.
There’s a whole science to what goes on behind scent–I won’t get into it because I am not qualified and would make a muddle of it. I’ll simply repeat what I said at the beginning–scent is probably our most visceral sense. We know immediately what we like and what we don’t.
One of these small flowers–a lemon blossom, but it’s true for other blossoms in the citrus family as well–perfumes a whole room in my home. I need only to walk into a room and I can tell when this plant–or my other citrus–is in bloom.
This plant has bloomed quite a bit this winter–winter is the normal bloom time for many citrus–and already you can see small lemons beginning to form at the end of the branches. So long as I transition this plant gently outside in the spring–and gently back inside this fall–by next winder I should have edible lemons.
All of this is accomplished with no additional pollination from me. I have heard of folks who hand-pollinate their citrus with paintbrushes and I have seen small mechanized devices sold for such purpose.
As I have repeated many a time, in my house, it’s every plant for itself–and clearly this lemon is doing just fine. Bring on the lemonade.