Mockorange (Philadelphus lewisii) is an elegant native shrub which grows 3-9 feet tall and has a rounded form. The long stems are red when new and fade to gray with age, the older bark shredding in small flakes. Leaves are usually oval, 1-2 inches long, and a medium green.
White flowers start appearing in clusters at the ends of stems after the plant is 3-4 years old. At the height of bloom, older plants are covered in masses of sweet-smelling flowers, which have a scent similar to orange blossoms with a hint of pineapple.
This plant is as popular with wildlife as it is with people. The indra and pale swallowtail butterflies visit it for nectar, as do hummingbirds and many other pollinators. Tiger swallowtails lay their eggs on it. Birds and small mammals eat the seeds and shelter in the foliage.
Mock-orange’s green leaves turn soft yellow in autumn, contrasting beautifully with the dark green of of evergreen huckleberry and red fall foliage of Western viburnum. Add an understory of sword fern for year-round beauty and wildlife value!
- Light Requirements: Full Sun, Part Shade, Full Shade
- Water Requirements: Dry, Moist
- Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
- Growth Rate: Fast
- Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
- Fire-resistant: Yes
- Edible: No
- Mature Height: 6-10ft
- Mature Width:4-10ft