Sweet mock-orange

Leaves of sweet mock-orange.

Family (English):


Botanical name:

Philadelphus coronarius

All Common Names:

Sweet mock-orange; sweet mockorange; mockorange; fragrant mock-orange

Family (Botanic):


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

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

Acid Soils:

  • Tolerant

Alkaline Soils:

  • Tolerant

Salt Spray:

  • Tolerant

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.


Soil Salt:

  • Tolerant

Drought Conditions:

  • Moderately Tolerant

Poor Drainage:

  • Intolerant
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.

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

Location of Philadelphus coronarius (Sweet mock-orange) at the Arboretum