Why do flowers smell

Why do roses often no longer smell at all - or just musty? Research is now also interested in this question

There is actually no shortage of rose varieties. Today more than 30,000 of them are registered, many of them based on creations from the heyday of rose growing in the 19th century.

But strange: about 90 percent of all breeds lose the fragrance of the parents' generation; and of the remaining "fragrances", about ten percent smell very differently than their predecessors: "Some then smell like pineapple," says biologist Jean-Claude Caissard from the University of Jean Monnet in Saint-√Čtienne.

Better to be able to be transported anywhere in the world instead of the scent of roses

Apparently, according to the researcher, it is very difficult to inherit the fragrance property through refinement. Especially since the desire for a longer and more frequent flowering time for the roses or for stronger colors is genetically quite incompatible with a strong fragrance. In addition, an intense smell is often associated with less resistant petals - which makes it more difficult to transport fragrant roses over long distances.

In favor of worldwide transportability and appearance, especially internationally active cut rose producers deliberately forego the smell. The largest companies of this type - in East Africa and South America - only sell two types of roses that have been optimized for their transport needs.

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