Most flowers rely on wind for dispersion of their pollen. The remainder do what they must to attract pollinators. Of these, the majority are visually appealing. They utilize color, form and texture. Some prefer to be more olfactorily appealing instead. They utilize fragrance. Some get creative with a combination of both tactics. They are both fragrant and colorful.

Flowers that are both fragrant and colorful are uncommon only because each tactic uses resources. Concentration of effort into one method of appeal or another is more efficient. Diversification generally occurs among flowers that must compete for pollination within a very diverse ecosystem. Otherwise, most fragrant flowers prefer selective specialization.

Consequently, most of the most fragrant flowers are not remarkably colorful. In fact, some are visually mundane. Where they mingle with more prominent bloom, the more visually evident flowers are likely to get credit for ambient aroma. Although many fragrant flowers are bright white, many more are uninterestingly pallid white. Some can be difficult to find.

Horticulturist Tony Tomeo can be contacted at tonytomeo.com .

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