I was talking with a friend and we had a short discussion of how pretty Bradford pear trees can be,,,but what an offensive odor they have! How could this be….something so attractive to the sight be so offensive to the smell?
From Business Insider:
The fishy odor produced by the Bradford Pear is likely a combination of two amines called trimethylamine and dimethylamine, according to Richard Banick, a botanical manager at Bell Flavors and Fragrances. Although perfumers know what chemicals produce the fishy smell (trimethylamine is often used an indicator of how fresh a fish is) they can’t be certain what causes the odor of the Bradford Pear, said Banick.
Plants that produce volatile amines, some that smell like rotting meat, use the gas either to attract flies who will then spread the flower’s pollen, or to ward off insects that might want to steal the nectar, said Rodriguez.
Rodgriquez suspects that the volatile compounds in the Bradford tree are there as attractants, and not necessarily to repel pollinators.