Alphabetical Plant Listing

Pretty Fragrant Orchids

Cattleya, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Encyclia, Lycaste, Maxillaria, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum, Rhynchostylis, Vanda


Aside from their beauty, some orchids exude a wonderful fragrance. Their scent can leave an impression greater than the orchid itself. Their fragrance is aimed at attracting pollinators such as bees, butterflies, moths, hummingbirds, and flies. Every orchid species has its own strategy to attract pollinators. Some have delightful fragrances yet produce no nectar. Others produce scents that mimic the pheromones of bees and wasps so that males try to mate with the orchids.

Most orchids smell best in the morning, their fragrance fading in the afternoon when the temperature increases. Other orchids are fragrant in the evening.

Fragrances range from faint, strong to very strong or extremely strong. Some are delicate, others are sweet or very sweet.

When orchids are judged for fragrances, experts take several qualities into consideration. They evaluate the orchid based on the intensity (strength) of the fragrance, the distance the smell travels, its general appeal (pleasant smell) and the complexity (well-roundedness) of the fragrance.

If you are seeking out fragrant orchids, you will find below a list of popular candidates.


By Dhawan Dirksen/Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


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