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PHILADELPHUS coronarius

Image of Philadelphus coronarius

Felder Rushing

Family

Hydrangeaceae

Botanical Name

PHILADELPHUS coronarius

Plant Common Name

Mockorange, Sweet Mockorange

General Description

The ivory-white flowers of mockorange have a delicate orange-blossom scent that perfumes the air in late spring to summer. This large deciduous shrub, native to southeastern Europe and Asia Minor, covers its arching branches with white four-petaled flowers so profusely that it turns more white than green. The leaves are toothed, oval, and green, and they alternate on the branches, which are red-brown. Fall color is an unimpressive yellow-green.

Grow sweet mockorange in full sun for best form and heaviest flowering. Shade causes plants to become leggy and sparse. This shrub accepts almost any fertile well-drained soil and tolerates a degree of drought. Plant it where passersby can appreciate its fragrance. Tall and dense, when grown in full sun, it's suitable for screening and ideal for the back of mixed shrub borders. Prune the flowering stems back just after bloom, and remove old congested growth in early spring.

There are several interesting cultivars on the market. The yellow leaves of 'Aureus' and the white-edged leaves of 'Variegatus' offer landscape interest after the flowers are spent.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 4

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    10'-12' / 3.0m - 3.7m

  • Width

    8'-10' / 2.4m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Ivory

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green, Yellow Green

  • Bark Color

    Copper, Sienna

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes