Botanical gardens show off colourful plants smelling of onion and cola
In a fragrant endeavour to tantalize the senses, the Botanical Garden at the University of Warsaw is showcasing an array of spring plants that boast extraordinary scents as well as lavish colours.
As part of the campaign, Aromatic Botanic, visitors are treated to a verdant oasis where basil smells like cola and even onions.
Dorota Szubierajska from the Botanical Gardens said: “You may be surprised by cola or onion-scented basil.
“Also unusual are geraniums whose flowers are not as showy as the popular balcony geraniums, but the leaves will delight with their fragrance.
These plants are not only decorative but are great additions to dishes or refreshing lemonades."
As enthusiasts wander through the lush oasis, they encounter an intriguing blend of scents and colours from a variety of spring plants.
Complementing the display of scented flora will be lectures, walks and workshops, with the main theme being how plants communicate through scent.
According to Szubierajska, May at the Warsaw Botanical Garden is a special time with lots of plants that are now blooming, in bloom or will be blooming, and spreading fragrances.
Starting May 15, on weekends between 1pm and 2pm, visitors can go on a fragrance walk with educators who will guide them through the themed greenhouses.
These include lilacs, lilies, jasmine plants, while azaleas will be blooming very soon.
Szubierajska said: “We have prepared a fragrance bed, where non-obvious ornamental, useful plants with unique scents will grow.
“There will be basil in eight varieties with the scent of violets, for example, as well as ornamental geraniums.”
Warsaw University’s Botanical Garden is one of the three oldest gardens of its kind in Poland. It was established in 1818 on the grounds of the Royal Gardens in Łazienki and owes its existence to botany professor Michał Szubert.
In 1916, it came under the stewardship of the University of Warsaw and it now focuses on scientific and educational endeavours.