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Tall white Flower that stinks

Paulinec1Paulinec1 Posts: 11
I’ve read your messages about the beetle that causes plants to smell awful but this is a tall plant, quite spindly, cluster of small white flowers with greyish stems that to me smell of vomit or worse.  It grows anywhere even in cracks of tarmac pavement. Looks quite pretty but i think its the sap from the stems.  I killed it off using weed killer leaving just a few short stalks growing and this morning I found my cat ecstatically rubbing her head and face in it.  The smell from the remains of the plant is really vile and unfortunately, so does she.


  • Silver surferSilver surfer Posts: 770
    Paulinec1...Welcome to the forums.
    Where in the world are you?
    Is it possible to add a pic of the plant to this thread?
    Perthshire. SCOTLAND .
  • Paulinec1Paulinec1 Posts: 11
    Hi Silver Surfer,
    I live in Hampshire. Unfortunately I cut down the ones that were growing in the middle of one of my shrubs so there’s no flowers and the others I treated with weed killer. I’ve seen this plant in pink in a neighbouring garden last year. I’ll take a picture of theirs, if they still have it. Can’t understand why my cat loves it so much!!
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 2,283
    edited 14 July
    Based on your neighbour having a pink one and your cat liking it, I'm going to hazard a guess at achillea millefolium - common yarrow. A photo would be more definitive
    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time
    Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Paulinec1Paulinec1 Posts: 11
    No I looked that up in the internet and Iknow that doesn’t smell too pleasant either but the flowers are more up the stem, not flat headed and the smell is far worse. When handling them your hands stink, if you’re not wearing gloves.  We moved here about 4 years ago and I’d never seen this plant before, but then I’m fairly new to the pleasures of gardening. I thought them quite pretty, so I picked some to put in a vase, oh my goodness not to be repeated.
  • raisingirlraisingirl East Devon, on the Edge of Exmoor.Posts: 2,283
    Maybe you could get a photo of the pink one?
    Real stupidity beats artificial intelligence every time
    Sir Terry Pratchett
  • Paulinec1Paulinec1 Posts: 11
    I’ll try this afternoon and will get back to you.  Thanks for your postings.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 45,914
    I'm wondering whether it's Centranthus ruber ... I love it and grow it and I've never ever noticed a horrid smell from it, but I know some people on here find they can't stand it.  
    If you stop taking chances, you'll stay where you sit. You won't live any longer, but it'll feel like it.” 
  • LiriodendronLiriodendron Todmorden, West YorksPosts: 4,249
    I Think you've got it, Dove.   :)
    "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change"    Stephen Hawking
  • Pete8Pete8 Billericay, EssexPosts: 3,351
    I grew crambe cordifolia once. It looked lovely but the smell was overpowering.
    Soon as the flowers were over I replaced it
    Pick a flower on Earth and you move the farthest star
    Paul Dirac
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 884
    I think you're right Dove, when Pauline said about pink and white ones, l thought of valerian (centranthus). I think there was a thread on here recently referring to the smell. I've got both in my garden and can't smell a thing !  
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