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Why Do Flowers Smell So Good? You'll Be Surprised to Know

Why Do Flowers Smell Good?
Wondering why do flowers smell good? Why does their smell attract butterflies and insects? Get answers to all your queries in this article.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Dec 10, 2017
The smell of fresh flowers is capable of bringing a smile on anyone's face. This is the reason why they symbolize love, affection and happiness. They are a wonderful part of nature and play a very important role in the life cycle of a plant. Their fragrance is extracted and is widely used in perfumes and room fresheners, etc. But have you ever thought why do flowers smell good and why is their fragrance so attractive? Well, the answer to this question may take you back to your school where you have studied about the life cycle of plants. So, let's move further to get the reason behind this fact.

Why do Flowers Smell Pleasant?

Like any other living being, plants too have a life cycle in which they take birth, grow, reproduce, flourish and then die. Every part of the plant is assigned with a specific work, which they perform very well. So coming to flowers - they are assigned the task of helping in the process of fertilization. Plants have asexual fertilization in which one plant possesses one type of flower, which has sperm cells and the other type of flower has egg cells. But plants are incapable of pollinating the cells on their own, hence they require pollinators for this purpose. Pollinators are the insects, butterflies and other animals which come in contact with the flowers and then take this pollen to the other flowers. So, when pollen from one flower comes in contact with egg cells of the other flower, fertile seeds are produced, which when fall on the ground, produce plants.

Now in this entire process, the fragrance or smell of the flower plays a very important role. Insects, birds, butterflies or animals do not come to the plant knowing that they have to help them in the process of fertilization, but it is the smell of the flowers which attract these creatures. The fragrance strongly attracts the insects and brings them so close to the flower that the pollen gets stuck to their body. Then when these animals get attracted to other plants in the same manner, the pollen goes and gets fertilized with the other flower containing egg cells and results in the production of seeds. The color of the flowers also play a very important role in attracting them. All flowers do not have a similar smell and the reason behind this is that specific flowers attract specific types of pollinators only so as to make sure that the pollen gets fertilized to the right species. Some plants like orchids have a specific smell which attracts only one pollinator and hence they totally rely on these pollinators for fertilization. So, we can say that there is a specific list of flowers that attract butterflies, bees, hummingbirds, etc.

It is not necessary that all the flowers should smell good, but the purpose behind the smell of the flower should be met. For example Rafflesia Arnoldii, a tropical parasitic flowering plant, can attract pollinators with its smell and can carry on the process of pollination but its smell is extremely unpleasant for human beings. So, by this, we can say that the smell which we think is unpleasant may attract the specific pollinators to do their job.

Different types of fragrances from different types of flowers can only be considered as one of the wonders of nature. We all use these fragrances in the form of perfumes and scents but the major purpose of the smell of flowers is totally different from what we think. So, this was all about why flowers smell so good. Hope these flowers keep smelling good forever and we keep getting more and more flowers.
Bumblebee and Azaleas
Flower Life Cycle