Mock-orange is an old-fashioned, back of the border, late spring to early summer flowering shrub with sweetly scented white flowers. Dark green foliage makes an attractive background for pure white flowers. It has limited ornamental value in other seasons, but the double-flowering cultivars are bringing popularity back to this plant.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Mixed border,
- Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
- Small shrub (3-5 feet),
- Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7
- Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest:
- Mid spring,
- Late spring
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Typically a 5 to 8 feet high and wide shrub with a loosly upright habit.
Cultivars are more compact and smaller in size.
Tree & Plant Care
Best in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, well-drained soil with plenty of organic matter added.
Best placed at the back of the border; smaller plants work well in perennial gardens, foundations or shrub borders.
Prune after flowering. Annual pruning is recommended to remove stems that tend to become leggy.
Disease, pests, and problems
Scale, rust, powdery mildew
Native geographic location and habitat
Virginal mockorange is of hybrid origin
Bark color and texture
Orange to red-brown, older stems have exfoliating bark.
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Opposite, 1 1/2 to 4 inches long and 2 inches wide, dark green with pointed tips.
Fall color is yellow-brown.
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Four petaled, 1 1/2 inches across with many yellow stamens; bright white; fragrant.
Many cultivars have bright white double flowers
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Small, 4-valved dry capsule, persistant into winter months
Minnesota Snowflake Mockorange (Philadelphus x virginalis 'Minnesota Snowflake): Compact, 2 to 3 feet high and 1 to 2 feet wide; fragrant, white, double flowers; larger than those of the species (up to 2 inches).
Minature Snowflake Mockorange (Philadelphus 'Miniature Snowflake'): Dwarf, compact 2 to 3 feet high and 1 to 2 feet wide; double white, fragrant flowers.
Snow Belle Mockorange (Philadelphus 'Snow Belle'): Mounded, 3 to 4 feet high and wide; fragrant, double, pure white flowers.
Snow White Sensation Mockorange (Philadelphus 'Snow White Sensation): Vase-shaped, 5 to 6 feet high and wide; clusters of 2-inch wide, double white fragrant flowers