Philadelphus / Mock Orange
Sweet-scented Mock Orange is a springtime treasure. Dive into its fragrant beauty and explore its role in garden design, infusing your outdoor space with its delightful aroma.
Cold hardy, trouble free, and highly fragrant, the genus Philadelphus contains deciduous shrubs, commonly called mock orange and, less often, sweet syringa, grown for their profuse, showy flowers that bloom in spring or summer. Appearing solitary or in clusters, the flowers resemble orange blossoms and can be single, semidouble, or double. They are usually cream or white in color, but are sometimes golden, and have a boss of bright yellow stamens that remains after the petals drop, extending the period of interest. Flowers are typically highly fragrant with an appealing citrus scent that is extremely attractive to bees and butterflies. Graceful, arching branches of lustrous oval leaves add color and texture to the garden all season and are often used as foliage filler in floral arrangements.
Philadelphus is a genus of about 65 species of large, dense, rounded, multi-stemmed shrubs that naturally grow in scrubby, rocky areas in open woods or along stream banks and vary in height from 4 feet to 15 feet. North American native species include P. coronarius (mock orange, golden mock orange, sweet mock orange), which is very fragrant; P. pubescens (broad-leaf mock orange), which is mildly fragrant; and P. inodorus (scentless mock orange), which has no fragrance at all. Other species of horticultural importance include P. lewisii, P. schrenkii, and many hybrids.
These shrubs add structure to the garden and make a nice backdrop, low screen, or hedge. Cold hardy and generally trouble free, they grow easily and tolerate a wide range of soils.