Topic: White (Wild?)Flower species: An unanswered Question

If any NJ/Northeastern US wildflower experts here could help me with a burning question that has me stumped, I would be highly grateful!
    Around this time each year in Cape May, (perhaps late August too; but MAINLY early SEPTEMBER), a trip to Cape May brings a great smile of pleasure to one's nose. Cape May, in many locations, receives an extremely sweet aroma from one of mother nature's nicest little surprises. You'll be walking, say, around Cape May Point State Park and you'll probably see the source of the heavenly sweet smell: those little white flowers. I'm not sure if they're classified as native or introduced, or maybe even if they're considered invasive!?-but I seem to see them blooming around this time each year, and I always really enjoy their heavenly fragrance.
    I've tried both internet and printed sources but could not find the species name of this lovely flower. I would really love to plant some, somehow-if that's even possible-in my own backyard someday. I actually live out in a rural area of PA and I see some of this same species out here (and smell them too ;)-but these particular flowers really are MUCH more prevalent and widespread in Cape May, NJ. They must really love the maritime climate there.
   This flower species blooming now is part of what makes a September trip to Cape May so cool. One more thing about these white flowers is that they grow in large bunches, usually 'draped' over the tops of trees or bushes...they appear as big puffs of white. And one is bound to SMELL this flower species before they even see it!

If anyone knows what species this is and could post a reply telling me, that would be awesome. Thanks :)

Last edited by peaceluvlife (2009-09-06 09:13:32)

Re: White (Wild?)Flower species: An unanswered Question

The highly fragrant blossoms you have seen could very well be Virgin's Bower (Clematis virginiana). For more info, check in Newcomb's Wildflower Guide by Lawrence Newcomb. While this flowering vine does grow wild, it has also been cultivated so you'll often see it growing in people's gardens.

Re: White (Wild?)Flower species: An unanswered Question

WOW! Thanks so much for telling me this and helping me solve this mystery; funnily enough, I did page through a Mid-Atlantic States field guide and an entry photo for “Eastern Virgin’s Bower” did catch my eye!-I thought maybe that was what these Cape May flowers might have been called; Thanks!
:  )