Sunday, July 24, 2011

Petrocosmeas with Fragrance

I've posted about this before, but wanted to remind those of you who are growing P. minor or P. sericea, or P. sp. 'HT-2' to sniff the flowers when they bloom for you. This year, in the GS Convention show, Paul Kroll entered a flowering P. minor. This was an unusual entry since P. minor rarely blooms at this time of year. I used this opportunity one morning in the showroom to conduct an informal survey with those who were viewing the show.

I asked ten people to sniff the flowers of the P. minor. Seven of the ten people could detect the fragrance. It was mid-afternoon, and for me, the flowers are most fragrant very early in the morning, but still the fragrance was there. Of those who could smell the fragrance, I asked them to describe it. All said "spicy", four also detected a floral scent along with the spice.... two said it reminded them of carnations. Three people could not detect the scent at all. I find that for many of the gesneriads that have fragrant flowers, there are always a good percentage of people who cannot detect fragrance. Covering or enclosing the blooming Petrocosmea will also help to concentrate the fragrance. I also feel that some clones are more fragrant than others. The veined leaf form of P. minor, the one often labeled P. sp. #5 is the most fragrant.

So, just a reminder to take the opportunity to enjoy yet one more incredible trait of these fabulous gesneriads!! SO take the time to "stop and smell the ....Pets!"