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Identifying a Shrub seen in SW Ireland


 
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scentman
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:49 pm    Post subject: Identifying a Shrub seen in SW Ireland Reply with quote

Hello All! Greetings from Georgia, USA!

First a little background FWIW... I am a perfumer by trade, and thus when I travel I tend to sniff all sorts of plants, foods, and flowers wherever I am.

I was recently on vacation/holiday in southwest Ireland (Killarney, Dingle, Tralee) while I was there, I came across a tree/shrub that I liked the aroma of, but I have no idea what it is called. I have tried googling from my limited knowledge, but to no avail. Can anyone here help me to identify it?

The plant has shiny leaves, kind of like a holly, but without the spines on the edge. The plant was in bloom the first week of July this year (the wild fushia was also in bloom the same week) it has smallish 1-2" (about 2-5 cm) spikes of pinkish-red flowers that are quite fragrant. The fragrance reminds me of raspberries and heliotrope/play-doh. It was growing by the stone circle in Kenmare, and was also on the grounds of the Gallarus Oratory in Dingle. The specimin in Kenmare was only about 4' high (approx 1 m), while the one in Dingle was about 15' (approx 3m) high in a oval kind of shape.

Thanks in Advance
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 10:26 pm    Post subject: Identifying a Shrub seen in SW Ireland - possible Escallonia Reply with quote

Hello Scentman.
It would be great to have your perfumery insight into plants that grow on this green isle.
How does Ireland compare to the US for scented plants.

I believe the plant is a shrub called Escallonia, possibly the variety macranta or X langleyensis.

"The plant has shiny leaves, kind of like a holly, but without the spines on the edge" CHECK

"The plant was in bloom the first week of July this year (the wild fushia was also in bloom the same week)" CHECK

"It has smallish 1-2" (about 2-5 cm) spikes of pinkish-red flowers that are quite fragrant." Not sure about spikes, more clusters really.

"The specimin in Kenmare was only about 4' high (approx 1 m), while the one in Dingle was about 15' (approx 3m) high in a oval kind of shape" CHECK

Here are some pics of Escallonia, scentman.



Cultivation requirements.

Plant in well-drained soil in full sun.
Suggested uses: Beds and borders, Coastal, Cottage/Informal, Hedging/Screens, Low Maintenance
Soil types: Chalky, Clay, Loamy, Sandy (will tolerate most soil types)
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained
Soil pH: Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Light: Full Sun
Aspect: North, South, East, West
Exposure: Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness: zones 8 to 10

Hope this helps.

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scentman
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Identifying a Shrub seen in SW Ireland - possible Escall Reply with quote

GPI wrote:
Hello Scentman.
It would be great to have your perfumery insight into plants that grow on this green isle.
How does Ireland compare to the US for scented plants.

<snip>

Hope this helps.


Thanks -GPI- that does seem to be the plant, or close enough to put the name with my odor impression in my creative ideas sourcebook (I had been calling it "the raspberry scented Irish shrub".) Confused => Smile

I'd be glad to help out ,where I may, with fragrance descriptions for plants, although my experience with specifically irish species is limited.

How to begin on scented plants USA vs Ireland? hmm....

In the US we have such diverse climates, that there are many different scented plants that can be grown in a garden, depending upon the microclimates where you live - tropicals in Florida, desert flora in Arizona, Alpine plants in the Rocky Mountains etc. Since I am just north of Atlanta, I will elaborate on that.

We can grow gardenias outdoors here, but lilacs don't get enough cold dormancy to survive. I did see some Buddleia (Butterfly Bush) in Ireland which also thrives here. Roses (of which there were geourgeous examples in Killarney) also do well here, although they are prone to blackspot in Georgia due to high temps and humidity. I have been told that I must return to Ireland in the Spring, when the Gorse is blooming, as it is a quintessential Irish springtime smell. Here in the US, Gorse is considered a noxious imported weed, so we can't grow it. I have not seen fushia growing wild here in Georgia, as it seems to do in SW Ireland. We do have wild wisteria that grows up the pines, and then there is Kudzu - the vine that ate the south - it was imported from Japan for erosion control, but has now naturalized itself - it can grow 2 feet (0.6m) per day. I didn't see it in Ireland, it's flowers are grape-scented.

for further elaboration, or any other questions, please let me know, and thanks for the info on Escallonia.
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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:07 pm    Post subject: Gorse--Ulex europeus-- Kudzu and goats Reply with quote

No problem, Scentman.
You are right, gorse or Ulex europeus fills the air with its sweet almond-like scent in spring, although it seems to flower on and off right throughout the year.

I did some research on that vine "Kudzu", wow what an animal.
Its seems goats are being drafted in to keep it in check as can be seen from the pic below (they are sheltering from the harsh sun under the tent).


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Chris_IE
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2006 6:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's one from my store of mostly useless but sometimes interesting trivia. Apparently there is a genetic link as to how people perceive the smell of gorse--some smell coconut and others almond/vanilla. Pretty weird.
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Bugs
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris_IE wrote:
Here's one from my store of mostly useless but sometimes interesting trivia. Apparently there is a genetic link as to how people perceive the smell of gorse--some smell coconut and others almond/vanilla. Pretty weird.

Laughing I always smell coconut .
Cool Bugs

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scentman
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 07, 2006 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chris_IE wrote:
Here's one from my store of mostly useless but sometimes interesting trivia. Apparently there is a genetic link as to how people perceive the smell of gorse--some smell coconut and others almond/vanilla. Pretty weird.


At the risk of getting too technical....

It's not that wierd. In perfumery, the notes (notes = chemicals with a simple odor impression) that are used to create coconut aromas are also used in creating vanilla fragrances, and almond notes give a toasted effect in a coconut or vanilla fragrance.

Most accords in the vanilla/coconut/almond directions can be modified to give an accord of the other two (accords = mixture of notes to give a more complex, but cohesive odor impression. Notice the similarity of terminology to notes and chords in music). In other words, by modifying the amounts of the same aroma chemicals in the mixture I can produce a coconut, an almond, or a vanilla.

Hopefully that was comprehensible.

Scent.
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birdie
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 08, 2006 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow scentman you certainly know your smells. For me I always smell almond from furze flowers.
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