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Philadelphus coronarius - sweet mock orange

Known to everyone in Finland as the ”jasmine bush”, the sweet mock orange is one of the oldest of garden shrubs in this country. First grown in Europe in the 1500s, it arrived in Finland about two centuries later.

Growing to about two metres, sweet mock orange produces strongly scented white flowers in clusters of 5-7 in late June-early July. Despite its long history of cultivation, this species is no longer so popular since the appearance of hoary mock orange (P. pubescens) and Lewis mock orange (P. lewisii var.) varieties in nursery catalogues. It is difficult to distinguish between the mock oranges and the problem is increased by their tendency to produce hybrids.

Sweet mock orange is perhaps the most strongly scented, the others varying from somewhat scented to almost scentless. They all thrive even in partial shade so are excellent for woodland gardens.