Fragrant Orchids

Fragrant orchid - Aerangis luteo alba
Fragrant orchid – Aerangis luteo alba

Fragrant Orchids are very popular and with so many species of orchids showing fragrance we list the best orchids for fragrance, as well a few of our favourites.

If we listen to the Chinese, then the Cymbidium would be the winner however with so many species with different perfumes the choice is wide.

The Fragrant Aerangis Orchid luteo alba is one to consider (pictured above). Fragrance of different species will vary from sweet such a a lily of the valley scent to spicy, musky and honey scented

Choosing Fragrant Orchids

Orchid hybridisation has been intense, some orchids have strong fragrance and some slight. It should also be noted that some orchids actually have an unpleasant fragrance including some of the Bulbophyllums.

If you are looking for fragrance determine what you like and ask before you purchase. Also remember that some orchids are fragrant in the morning, others in the evening, some during the day and others only at night. Angraecum sesquipedale is one the best known night fragrant species, a very heavy perfume.

Our List of Fragrant Orchids

It must be remembered that with intense hybridisation some orchids are hybridised for flower form alone and so lack a little in terms of other more fragrant orchids of the same species.

  • Aerangis: Mostly small to medium sized orchids with evening fragrance. White to cream coloured flowers.
  • Aerides: Scented during the daytime these taller growing orchids will need some support.
  • Ancistrochilum rothschildianum: Long lasting fragrant flowers but deciduous in winter.
  • Angraecum: Mostly night fragrant.
  • Brassavola: Again a night scent ed orchid with a touch of citrus to the fragrance. Brassavola nodosa, is known as “lady of the night”.
  • Brassia: Brassia verrucosa is one of the most fragrant. Brassia are large growing with spidery flowers.
  • Brassidium: Brassia hybrids with developed scents.
  • Brassocattleyas: A cross between brassavola and cattleya, mostly scented.
  • Catasetum: Bees like them, a very pleasant fragrance from most.
  • Cattleya: One of the classics, Cattleya orchids have attractive flowers and are one of the most fragrant of all orchids.
  • Cymbidium: Some species are highly perfumed (chinensis, tracyanum, canaliculatum, hookerianum), while some are not, the same goes for the Cymbidium hybrids.
  • Clowesia: These are the plants which lose their leaves in the winter and most of these species are scented.
  • Dendrobium: Tall canes and deciduous but many fragrant Dendrobium orchid species are available.
  • Gongora: Small and highly scented flowers, however the flowers do not last that long
  • Haraella odorata: A popular sweet smelling miniature orchid.
  • Sedirea japonica: Long lasting, fragrant both day and night
  • Vanda: Mostly fragrant although some only slightly perfumed
  • Zygopetalum: Most Zygopetalum orchids are fragrant, have attractive flowers and are highly hybridized