Philadelphus, (the mock-orange) is a genus of about 60 species of shrubs from 1 to 6 m tall, native to North America, Central America, Asia and (locally) in southeast Europe. They are named "mock-orange" in reference to their flowers, which in wild species look somewhat similar to those of oranges and lemons (Citrus) at first glance, and smell of orange flowers and jasmine (Jasminum). Philadelphus is named after an ancient Greek king of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphus.
Most Philadelphus are deciduous but a few species from the south of the genus' range are evergreen. The leaves are opposite, simple, with serrated margins, from 1 to 14 cm long. The flowers are white, with four petals and sepals, 1–4 cm diameter, and commonly (but not in all species) sweetly scented. The fruit is a small capsule, containing numerous small seeds. The bark is thin and flaky, finely shredding in longitudinal strips.
For a long time, Philadelphus coronarius was the only mock-orange of gardens, though some adventurous Americans grew the native P. inodorus that Mark Catesby had discovered growing on the banks of the Savannah River; it appeared in Lady Skipwith's garden lists and George Washington ordered some from Bartram in 1792. Mock-oranges are popular shrubs in parks and gardens, grown for their reliable display of late spring flowers; the scented species are particularly valued. In addition to the species, there are numerous garden origin hybrids and cultivars available, selected for doubleness and large flowers, with some compromise as to scent.
This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.