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Early Found Fragrances - Olfactory Delights at the Minnesota Arboretum!

Karl Foord - Extension Educator, Horticulture

While exploring the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum I encountered Dr. Stan Hokanson the woody plant breeder in the Department of Horticulture Science. He introduced me to the Clove Currant (Ribes odoratum). The odoratum nomenclature is well deserved. Clove Currant give off a very pleasant spicy fragrance hinting of clove and allspice (Photos 1 and 2). The plant has yellow flowers and a corolla long enough to restrict its pollinators to those with long tongues like bumblebees (Photos 3 and 4).

Another tree with fragrant flowers is the Korean crabapple (Malus baccata jackii) one of the earlier flowering crabapples. The flowers are being visited by native bees (Photos 5 and 6).



Karl Foord

Photo 1: Clove Currant (Ribes odoratum) flower close-up





Karl Foord

Photo 2: Clove Currant (Ribes odoratum) flower





Karl Foord

Photo 3: Bumblebee showing long tongue required to reach nectaries on Clove Currant





Karl Foord

Photo 4: Bumblebee pollinating Clove Currant





Karl Foord

Photo 5: Native bee (Andrena ssp.) on Korean crabapple (Malus baccata jackii)





Karl Foord

Photo 5: Native bee on Korean crabapple (Malus baccata jackii)




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