Chocolate. Plants. Put ’em together and you’ve got one of the hottest trends in gardening. If it weren’t enough that there are a number of plants with “chocolate” in their name, (Heuchera ‘Chocolate Ruffles’ and Eupatorium rugosa ‘Chocolate,’ for example), there are several plants that smell like chocolate as well. Here are a few of the best.
Berlandiera lyrata (Lyreleaf Greeneyes, Chocolate-scented Daisy, Chocolate Flower)
Berlandiera lyrata is the most chocolately-smelling of all chocolate-scented plants. A night bloomer, so your garden will smell like cocoa in the morning. Zone 4-10. Full Sun.
Cosmos atrosanguineus (Chocolate Cosmos)
A must have for the chocolate garden. Plants form a medium-sized clump of dark green leaves, bearing cup-shaped blooms of deep burgundy-red, with the distinctive fragrance of dark chocolate. Sun. Zones 8-9.
Akebia quinata (Chocolate vine, Five-leaf akebia)
A deciduous to semi-evergreen twining vine with a chocolate scent, – Akebia quinata has clusters of rounded leaves and racemes of captivating purple-brown blooms with a spicy fragrance. Warning: potentially invasive if left to own devices.
Zone 4 but deciduous in zones 4 through 6. Height 20′ to 40′. Full sun.
Mentha piperita cv. ‘Chocolate’ (Chocolate Mint)
Chocolate mint doesn’t really taste like chocolate to me, but lots of people claim it smells like a combination of chocolate and peppermint. Who cares when it’s got lovely bronze-green leaves. 12-24″ tall. Sun to part shade.
Gilia tricolor (Bird’s Eyes)
This annual California wildflower is deliciously fragrant. Meadow plantings. Full sun. Height 3′.
(Now only if they tasted like chocolate…)
Chocolate Flower Farm is a Washington-based specialty nursery offering “chocolate” (scented as well as coloured) perennials.
Read more about scent in the garden in Scent for all Seasons.