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Sweet mock-orange

Leaves of sweet mock-orange.
Sweet mock-orange is a large, upright growing shrub with delightfully sweet, fragrant white flowers in early summer. An excellent shrub to use as a backdrop for smaller shrubs.

Botanical name:

Philadelphus coronarius

All common names:

Sweet mock-orange; sweet mockorange; mockorange; fragrant mock-orange

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Hedge,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border,
  • Screen,
  • Windbreak

Size Range:

  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil


  • Occasional drought,
  • Alkaline soil,
  • Clay soil,
  • Road salt

Seasons of Interest:

  • late spring,
  • early summer,
  • midsummer,
  • late summer

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Multi-stemmed,
  • Oval,
  • Round,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

More Information:

Size & Form

An upright growing large shrub reaching 10 to 12 feet high and wide.

Tree & Plant Care

Best in full sun to light shade, will grow in most soil types except extremely wet. 
Prune after flowering to remove dead wood and to keep in bounds.
Overgrown shrubs can get leggy and cut to the ground to start over.

Disease, pests, and problems

Cankers, leaf spots, powdery mildew and rust

Disease, pest, and problem resistance

Tolerant of salt

Native geographic location and habitat

Southern Europe and Asia Minor

Bark color and texture 

Slender, young stems light brown to reddish brown with raised leaf scar. Older bark is light brown to orange and exfoliates into strips. 

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Opposite, simple, oblong, 2 to 4 inches long, coarsely to not serrated, green above, lighter below.
No significant fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

White, four petals, yellow anthers, 1 inch across, very fragrant, appearing in early summer.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Dry, four-parted capsule, 1/2 inch long, persistent into winter.


Location of Philadelphus coronarius (Sweet mock-orange) at the Arboretum