MOCK ORANGE

FAMILY: Hydrangeaceae | GENUS: PHILADELPHUS

TYPE
  • Evergreen
  • Shrubs
  • Deciduous
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
  • Moderate Water

Plant Details

Grown for white or cream- colored, usually fragrant flowers that bloom in late spring or early summer. Blossoms are four petaled, typically 12 in. wide; they range from single to fully double and may be borne singly or in clusters, depending on species. Mock oranges are generally large and vigorous, with fountainlike form. Oval, 2- to 4-in.-long leaves (typically medium green in color) are arranged in pairs along the stems.

Prune every year just after bloom, cutting out oldest wood and surplus shoots at base. To rejuvenate, cut to the ground after bloom. Taller types are striking planted in lawns and as background and corner plantings; smaller kinds can be planted near foundations or used as low screens or informal hedges. Buy plants in bloom to check for best fragrance. Not fussy about soil type but must have good drainage.

P. coronarius. SWEET MOCK ORANGE, ENGLISH DOGWOOD. Deciduous. Zones US, MS, LS, CS; USDA 6-9. Native to southern Europe, Caucasus. Strong-growing old favorite to 1012 ft. tall and wide. Clusters of fragrant, 1-in. flowers. 'Aureus', to 8 ft. high, has bright golden foliage that turns yellow-green in summer.

P. hybrids. Deciduous. Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8. A group of showy selections, often with intense fragrance. Sometimes sold as selections P. x lemoinei or P. x virginalis.

'Avalanche'. Grows 56 ft. high and wide with single, 1-inch, white blooms.

'Belle Etoile'. Grows to 5 ft. tall and 8 ft. wide with fringed, purple-centered, single flowers to 2 in. across. Very popular.

'Buckley's Quill'. Dense, com- pact grower to 45 ft. tall and wide with clusters of 1-in.-wide, double flowers. Petals are narrow and pointed.

'Enchantment'. Grows 56 ft. high and wide with double, 1-in., white blooms.

'Glacier'. Grows 34 ft. tall and about as wide, with 1-in., double, white blossoms.

'Mont Blanc'. Grows 56 ft. high and wide with single, 1-in., white blooms.

'Natchez'. Grows to 810 ft. high and wide, is one of showiest selections of all, with profuse, unscented, single white blooms up to 2 in. across.

'Silberregen' ('Silver Showers'). Arching to 6 ft. high and wide with 2-in., single, white flowers.

'Virginal'. Grows 68 ft. high and wide with 2-in., double, white blossoms.

P. mexicanus. EVERGREEN MOCK ORANGE. Zones CS, TS; USDA 9-11. From Mexico. Vining shrub has long, supple stems clothed with evergreen leaves. Creamy white, highly fragrant, 1-in. flowers in small clusters may bloom sporadically throughout year. Can be kept to 6 ft. high and wide as a freestanding shrub. It is best used, however, as a vine or bank cover; can climb 1520 ft. if given support.

P. texensis. TEXAS MOCK ORANGE. Semievergreen. Zones LS, CS; USDA 8-9. Texas native to 3 ft. tall and wide. Small, shiny, dark green leaves. Fragrant spring flowers are 13 in. across. Grows in virtually any well-drained soillimestone, clay, sand, or loam.

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