Philadelphus coronarius 'SMNPVG' ILLUMINATI TOWER
Common Name: mock orange 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Hydrangeaceae
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, Good Cut
Attracts: Butterflies
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Prefers moist, organically rich soils. 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.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Philadelphus coronarius, commonly called mockorange or sweet mockorange, is a dense, rounded, multi-stemmed, suckering, deciduous shrub with stiff, straight, ascending but arching branches. It typically matures to 10-12’ tall and as wide. It is native to southeastern Europe and Asia Minor. It is grown in landscapes primarily for its 4-petaled, very fragrant, white flowers (each to 1 1/2” across) which bloom abundantly in May to early June in small clusters (5 to 7- flowered racemes). Each flower purportedly resembles the shape of an orange blossom, hence the common name of mockorange. Flowers give way to seed capsules. Dark brown bark exfoliates with age.

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 epithet from Latin means used for or relating to garlands in reference to the flowers.

'SMNPVG' is a compact, upright selection of mockorange that features fragrant, white flowers held densely on narrow, columnar branches. Suitable for use in fresh cut arrangements. The flowers are attractive to butterflies and other insect pollinators. Mature specimens will reach up to 4' tall and spread to fill a 2' area. Commonly sold at nurseries and garden centers under the name ILLUMINATI TOWER.


Some susceptibility to leaf spot, canker, powdery mildew and rust. Aphids, nematodes, scale and leaf miners are occasional visitors. Deer tend to avoid this plant.


Foundation plantings, hedges, cottage gardens, shrub borders or low screens. This shrub has minimal ornamental interest when not in flower.