The unmentionable scent

Best not to talk about the scent of this flower in polite company!

This is Photinia Red Robin (Photinia serrulata Lindl.). Over here in Belgium it’s a common garden flowering shrub that is often used to make hedges or screens. It has red leaves in the spring and clusters of delicate white flowers.

Photinia Red Robin
Photinia Red Robin (Photinia serrulata Lindl.)

So far so boring. But this is far from a boring plant. In fact it’s quite a conversation stopper.

It’s to do with its scent.

Now, I’m a refined, reserved gentleman of good breeding, so I hesitate to bring this up in the polite company of WordPress bloggers. Especially when I don’t want to offend anyone’s sensitivities.

Just to say, this is not my own discovery. Google itself happily describes the scent in this way.

You see, the flowers of Photinia Red Robin smell like … human semen!

There, I’ve said it.

I never thought I’d use those two words on my nature blog! And I don’t really want to again!

As you can see, there’s quite a lot of it in the car park behind our apartment, so on a hot sunny day the scent can be quite overpowering!

Photinia Red Robin, the Sperm Bush
Photinia Red Robin is also known as the Sperm Bush!

Submitted for Cee’s Flower of the Day


  1. I did not know this, Denzil, even though I have a photinia in my garden, variety unknown. Mine never gets to bloom because I keep it trimmed to an ice cream cone shape. I like the shrub for its bright red new leaves.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. They are popular around our way, and this year seems to be a particularly good one for the blossoms. We even have one in our own garden – it looks pretty and screens us from an unpleasant neighbour! I know the scent is strong but I’d never have made that comparison and I still don’t quite get it. I suspect it may smell differently to different people???

    Liked by 1 person

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