TREES & plants

Sweet mock-orange

Leaves of sweet mock-orange.
Sweet mock-orange is a large, upright growing shrub with delightfully sweet, fragrant white flowers in early summer. An excellent shrub to use as a backdrop for smaller shrubs.
Botanical name: 
Philadelphus coronarius
All Common Names: 
Sweet mock-orange; sweet mockorange; mockorange; fragrant mock-orange
Family (English): 
Family (Botanic): 
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Landscape Uses: 
  • Hedge, 
  • Massing, 
  • Mixed border, 
  • Screen, 
  • Windbreak
Size Range: 
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
Mature Height: 
10 to 12 feet high
Mature Width: 
10 to 12 feet wide
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), 
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4, 
  • Zone 5 (Chicago), 
  • Zone 6, 
  • Zone 7, 
  • Zone 8
Soil Preference: 
  • Acid soil, 
  • Alkaline soil, 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Acid Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Alkaline Soils: 
  • Tolerant
Salt Spray: 
  • Tolerant
Soil Salt: 
  • Tolerant
Drought Conditions: 
  • Moderately Tolerant
Poor Drainage: 
  • Intolerant
Ornamental Interest: 
  • Summer blossoms, 
  • Fragrant flowers, 
  • Persistent fruit/seeds, 
  • Showy flowers, 
  • Attractive bark
Season of Interest: 
  • Late spring, 
  • Early summer, 
  • Mid summer, 
  • Late summer
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • White
Shape or Form: 
  • Multi-stemmed, 
  • Oval, 
  • Round, 
  • Upright
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
More Information: 

Size & Form

An upright growing large shrub reaching 10 to 12 feet high and wide.

Tree & Plant Care

Best in full sun to light shade, will grow in most soil types except extremely wet. 
Prune after flowering to remove dead wood and to keep in bounds.
Overgrown shrubs can get leggy and cut to the ground to start over.

Disease, pests, and problems

Cankers, leaf spots, powdery mildew and rust

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Tolerant of salt

Native geographic location and habitat

Southern Europe and Asia Minor

Bark color and texture 

Slender, young stems light brown to reddish brown with raised leaf scar. Older bark is light brown to orange and exfoliates into strips. 

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Opposite, simple, oblong, 2 to 4 inches long, coarsely to not serrated, green above, lighter below.
No significant fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

White, four petals, yellow anthers, 1 inch across, very fragrant, appearing in early summer.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Dry, four-parted capsule, 1/2 inch long, persistent into winter.


Philadelphus coronarius or Sweet mock-orange