Floral Gossip

Non-fragrant cut flowers

I worked out earlier than later in my flower career that some people like non-fragrant cut flowers. Strange you may think?

No, it’s actually quite common here in Sydney, Australia because we have a lot of allergy sufferers here and winds from inland stir up pollens and seeds as well as the seeds from Plane Trees.

In fact many of my customers prefer non-fragrant cut flowers, mainly because fragrant cut flowers gave them headaches and runny noses as result of the pollens and/or oils that give the flower its fragrance.

Also, while it may seem odd, not everyone smells the same fragrance. What might smell like roses to you could well smell like dirty, wet socks to someone else.

So why do some flowers smell and others don’t?

The brightest flowers are often fragrance-free because they attract birds, which have no sense of smell. 

Fragrance-free flowers are usually bright and attractive in other ways, like having long stamens or ornate petal structures to attract pollinators without an aroma. Think sunflowers, dahlias and hibiscus.

Ranunculus flowers in vase

Below is a list I put together to help you select non-fragrant cut flowers.

Ms Gerbera

Mr Calla Lily

Mr Tiger Lily

Ms Bird of Paradise

Ms Calendula

Mr Gladioli

Mr Tulip

Ms Sunflower

Ms Strawflower

Mr Dendrobium Orchid

Mr Vanda Orchid

Mr Cymbidium Orchid

Ms Lisianthus

Ms Chrysanthemum

Ms Daisy

Ms Flannel Flower

Ms Ranunculus

Mr Amaryllis

Ms Anemone

Ms Poppy

Ms Echinacea Ms King Protea

Ms Waratah

Mr Agapanthus

Mr Iris

Ms King Protea

Flowers and hospital

Another situation to be aware of is if you are gifting cut flowers to a loved one in hospital. I know it’s hard to resist sending a fab bunch of flowers to cheer them up and brighten up the room. But you might be surprised to learn that many hospitals ban flowers. Why is this?

Primarily it’s because of the risk of spreading germs, especially on wards where patients are particularly vulnerable to infection, aggravating allergies or creating more work for nurses and hospital staff.

Flowers can also take up precious space around the patient. When undergoing treatment there is a lot of equipment around the bed, and if people are in for a while they have all their own bits and pieces too so everything in an already limited space. 

As a result I recommend checking with the hospital first and if they are are OK with flowers gift them non-fragrant cut flowers just to be safe.