Why Do Flowers Smell, and Why Do Plants Smell, Too?
Everyone is familiar with the sweet scents of flowers like roses and gardenias. Some plants give off a distinctive odor even when they're not flowering. Plant and flower odors serve an important function in plant reproduction and protection.
Pollinators like bees, bats, butterflies and flies carry pollen from flower to flower, facilitating plant fertilization and seed production.
Scent and Attraction
The distinctive scent of some flowers helps attract pollinators. Flowers reward the visitors with food in the form of nectar or pollen.
Different pollinators are attracted to different scents. For example, bees and butterflies prefer fresh, light scents, while bats prefer deep, musty scents.
Some plants have strong, pungent odors. These odors help defend plants, warning would-be foragers that they are not tasty and are possibly even toxic.
Flowers don't have to smell nice to attract pollinators. The carrion flower mimics the odor of rotting flesh, attracting carrion beetles and several species of flies.
pollinators and scents