After a rainy and unseasonably cold spring, May has arrived and promises a wealth of gorgeous and wonderfully scented flowers that will beautify gardens and walkways. With New Orleans’ rich, tropical and subtropical climate—particularly in the hot, humid summer—it is only natural that flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors should come to bloom here. There are too many to name, but there are a few that stand out and which you can’t miss when you visit the city.
The gardenia is one of the most well-known and most popular flowers you’ll find. Before you see it, you’ll likely smell its unique fragrance wafting by you, particularly in the streets of the French Quarter and other stretches of homes with ornate gardens. It is a spring and summer-flowering plant, and its predominant month is May. It is also referred to as cape jasmine if you ask around town.
The magnolia is perhaps the most prominent flower representing New Orleans, as it is the official state flower of Louisiana. You can find many magnolia trees with blossoms opening up throughout the season, but also others as it is actually an evergreen. It has a lovely, unique smell and a large and distinct shape that you won’t miss if you pass it. The Magnolia has inspired names of buildings, gathering sites and even a Mardi Gras Indian tribe.