The Scentless Mock Orange caught me by surprise, I hadn't noticed it was blooming. It's lovely white flowers were draped over the garden gate and waving at me to pay attention. Small bees buzzed around the 4 petaled flowers. It lit up the shady spot behind the patio gate. But, even out of bloom, it has a lot to recommend it. William Cullina says this about them: "In a favorable spot, the whole plant is wreathed in white and it is quite lovely in a loose and delicate way"
They were here when we bought this house nearly 28 years ago. They are not the straight species but are most likely Philadelphus inodorus 'Grandiflora'. They are so attractive and so nearly like the species that I believe they are worth sharing. Perhaps, hearing about Scentless Mock-Orange will spark your interest/desire to locate the species for your garden.
There are four species of Philladelphus in Tennessee, P. hirsutus, P inodorus, P pubescens var intectus and P pubescens var. pubescens. Although, each are found growing in my home county, I've never seen them in the local woodlands. I suspect that they are rare and possibly endangered in the wild. After studying the photos of the flowers and foliage at the University of Tennessee Herbarium website it is clear that the flowers of 'Grandiflora' are twice the size of the species, but, everything else seems the same.
It's a beautiful flowering shrub that's not only easy to grow, but, takes very little maintenance....I never water it. Trust me here, it has survived in the Garden of Benign Neglect for almost 30 years.
I love this plant and want it to step out of the shadows of the woodlands and from the corners of old gardens into the spotlight. Even if you haven't the space in your garden for a shrub this large, you can spread the word and encourage native plant enthusiasts to think about adding Scentless Mock-Orange to their gardens. It would be a wonderful shrub for the back of the border or at the edge of the woods. It would be a good basic hedge/screen, a specimen in a large border or in a cottage garden.
Welcome to Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday celebration. WW is about sharing and celebrating wildflowers from all over this great big, beautiful world. Join us on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Remember, it doesn't matter if they are in bloom or not; and, it doesn't matter if we all share the same plants. It's all about celebrating wildflowers. Please leave a comment when you add your url to Mr Linky.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.