Philadelphus × virginalis

Common Name: mock orange 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Hydrangeaceae
Native Range: Garden origin
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Drought, Clay Soil


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 5 to 8. Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates a wide range of soils except poorly-drained ones. Flowers appear on the prior year’s growth, so prune as needed immediately after flowering. This hybrid shrub may be cut to the ground (also immediately after flowering) if it becomes scraggly, unkempt or otherwise in need of rejuvenation.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Philadelphus × virginalis, commonly known as virginal mock-orange, is a semi-double to double-flowered deciduous hybrid shrub in the Saxifrage family that typically grows to 5-10’ tall with an upright arching habit. Hybrid parents are probably P. × lemoinei and P. navilis plenus. Peeling gray-brown bark, slightly toothed oval green leaves (to 3” long) with soft-hairy undersides, and semi-double to double flowers in 3 to 7-flowered racemes (to 3-5” wide). Flowers bloom in mid to late spring.

Genus name comes from the Greek word philadelphus meaning loving one’s brother or sister. A Grecian and Roman family name. New York Botanical Garden suggests that the genus name instead comes from Ptolemy Philadelphus, a king of the third century B.C.

Specific epiththet means white in reference to flower color.

Common name of mock-orange is in reference to the sweetly fragrant flowers which generally resemble the scent of orange blossoms.


No serious insect or disease problems. Some susceptibility to leaf spot, canker, powdery mildew and rust. Aphids, nematodes, scale and leaf miners are occasional visitors.


Foundation plantings, hedges, shrub borders, low screens or open woodland areas.