Incredible Smell
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Bob Novak
Posted on: April 12, 2010

Saskatoon has just hosted an indoor garden show... 3rd largest in Canada. There was a plant used in hanging baskets that was so pungent..... exactly like a skunk: all parts of the plant reeked from skunk... These plants were identified as Cuban oregano.... could this be possible? And why would we want it in baskets if it is so skunky? It was removed from the show for obvious reasons. Looking forward to your reply

I am pretty sure that this was a case of mis-identification or a case of the same common name used for two different plants. But why one would use the name oregano for a plant that smells like skunk is a mystery to me. It sounds to me as if they mixed up what we at Richters call the "Piss-Off Plant" with the Cuban oregano. Both are species of Plectranthus, but the former reeks of something that could be described as skunk and the latter has a pleasant oregano scent. Both have attractive succulent foliage and rather striking inflorescences.

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