[The Hydrangea Family East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Mock Orange, Lewis' Mockorange, Lewis' Mock Orange, Wild Mockorange

Philadelphus lewisii

Synonyms: Philadelphus californicus, Philadelphus columbianus, Philadelphus gordonianus, Philadelphus lewisii var. californicus, Philadelphus lewisii var. ellipticus, Philadelphus lewisii var. gordonianus, Philadelphus lewisii var. helleri, Philadelphus lewisii var. intermedius, Philadelphus lewisii var. lewisii, Philadelphus lewisii var. oblongifolius

Mock Orange, Lewis' Mockorange, Lewis' Mock Orange, Wild Mockorange: Philadelphus lewisii (Synonyms: Philadelphus californicus, Philadelphus columbianus, Philadelphus gordonianus, Philadelphus lewisii var. californicus, Philadelphus lewisii var. ellipticus, Philadelphus lewisii var. gordonianus, Philadelphus lewisii var. helleri, Philadelphus lewisii var. intermedius, Philadelphus lewisii var. lewisii, Philadelphus lewisii var. oblongifolius)


Characteristics:

The mock orange is also known as western syringa. It is an attractive shrub with many branches from 1-3 meters high. The leaves are elliptic to ovate and are opposite on the stems. The blades range from 2-5 cm long and have enetire to lightly toothed margins. The surfaces of the leaf blades are glabrous although they may be hairy on the veins.

The attractive and fragrant flowers are borne singly or in few-flowered cymes, panicles or false racemes. The calyx is attached to the ovary up to the lobes. The calyx lobes range from 5-6 mm long. The sepals typically number 4, although 5 may occasionally be present. Likewise, 4 white petals are typically present, although 5 may occasionally be found. The petals are obtuse or rounded, often with a notch at the tip and range from 10-20 mm long. The stamens number from 25-40 and are unequal in length. The ovary is inferior with the styles united halfway or more up their length. The pleasant bloom fragrance is similar to that of the orange flower, hence the name mock orange.

The mock orange is suitable for use in native gardens or landscapes. It does well in poor to moderate soils that get at least some moisture, and can survive in bright sun as well as in partial shade. Plants bloom in late May at lower elevations and into late June at higher elevations. Plants typically bloom for several weeks, and in mass plantings, the fragrance is noticeable from a distance.


Habitat:

Mock oranges are found on hillsides and canyons up to altitudes of about 5000 feet.


Range:

Mock Oranges are found over much of Oregon and Washington. They are found from southern British Columbia south to northern California and east to Montana and northern and central Idaho.


Mock Orange, Lewis' Mockorange, Lewis' Mock Orange, Wild Mockorange: Philadelphus lewisii (Synonyms: Philadelphus californicus, Philadelphus columbianus, Philadelphus gordonianus, Philadelphus lewisii var. californicus, Philadelphus lewisii var. ellipticus, Philadelphus lewisii var. gordonianus, Philadelphus lewisii var. helleri, Philadelphus lewisii var. intermedius, Philadelphus lewisii var. lewisii, Philadelphus lewisii var. oblongifolius)


Paul Slichter