|Golden smoke or Corydalis aurea|
This is all probably familiar to many people who grow in the mountains. What's the discovery, you say? It has an unusual, sweet smell! Somehow, I had never realized it until the other day when I was weeding. I kept smelling something sweet on the air that I couldn't recognize. I kept looking around at all the plants, but most weren't blooming yet, and most of them weren't fragrant, anyway. It finally dawned on me that it was the golden smoke, and I confirmed it by getting down on my knees and putting my nose in the plant. Who knew?
Another fun factoid about this plant with which I was already familiar is that the seeds are ant-dispersed. The seeds have a tiny little nutrient-rich appendage on it (an aril or elaiosome). Ants gather the seeds, bring them into their nests and feed the elaiosome to their larvae. The seeds are left intact (and safe from predation) to germinate later. Cool little mutualism, there.