February 27, 2020

Imitation Orange

Mock Orange

Janine Pineo Photo | Mock Orange

Think of a scented shrub and probably lilac comes to mind first. And then maybe nothing else. You haven’t met mock orange. The Philadelphus genus embraces about 60 shrubs ranging from about 3 feet tall to about 18 feet, native to North and Central America, Asia and Europe. Most have a sweet scent, although a few don’t smell of anything when in full bloom. The name mock orange comes from the pure white flowers that look similar to orange flowers and the scent, which is also similar to those same flowers. But the genus is a member of the hydrangea family, not citrus’s family, rue. The most commonly planted is Philadelphus coronarius, a species native to southern Europe. The good news is that mock orange is generally hardy to Zone 4, which is a good part of the state.