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Philadelphus Varieties and Types List – Best Ten Mock Orange Bushes


The choice of Philadelphus variety is very important for ensuring that you have the right size shrub and habit of flowering in your garden border or bed. Get it wrong, and you either end up with a very vigorous giant of a shrub in a small area, or almost as bad, a smaller growing shrub trying in vain to fill the space that ‘you’ decreed it would fill.

Insofar as flower is concerned, all mock oranges have white flowers – some double, some single, some drooping others in erect clusters.

So, if you are going to plant a mock orange, and you should, get the variety right. Then you are well on the way to success with masses of fragrant white flowers in early summer.

Philadelphus delavayi - Mock OrangeAs an owner of a garden centre in years gone by, I have learned that size is important. With Philadelphus varieties, choosing the right one for your own situation is essential. So this list of Mock Orange Bush varieties is in size order – starting with the largest. Be aware of the sizes of Philadelphus, both in height and potential spread.

Best Ten Philadelphus Varieties – Mock Orange Bushes

Philadelphus Virginal

This mock orange is the ‘grand daddy’ of them all as far as size is concerned. Together with that attribute, it has a stunning display of pure white, fully double flowers – hence its name – and is very scented.  Flowering time for Philadelphus virginal is early summer. Its height is around 3m with a spread of 2.5m. Allow plenty of room and prune as suggested.

Philadelphus ‘Innocence’

Although as tall (almost) as the Philadelphus Virginal, it is more erect in habit but nonetheless has slightly arching branches when laden with its semi-double, white and very fragrant flowers. It flowers a little later than the top one, but only just. 3metres tall with an ultimate spread of 2 meters – sometimes more when in full bloom

Philadelphus ‘Beauclerk’

This is my favourite mock orange with its large cup-shaped pure white flowers on slightly arched stems.  Flowers are sometimes tinged pink with age. Another of the taller ones with a height of approx 2.5 metres and a similar spread

Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aurea’

You would buy this more for its golden foliage – especially the new leaves in early summer. This one is best in light shade, though will also grow – but with some scorching – in full sun. Flowers tend to look cream rather than white, but this is probably because of the lack of contrast with the yellow foliage. I would grow this just for its foliage – cutting it back hard each spring and thereby losing the flowers, but gaining larger brighter leaves. 2.4meters with an upright growth that restricts it to 1.5meters spread.

Philadelphus ‘Sybille’

This is a medium size mock orange with masses of white single flowers on arching stems. Early summer for flowering, with height and spread of 2meters.

Philadelphus ‘Avalanche’

As the name suggests, this has an arching, almost weeping habit when laden with its pure white scented flowers. A little later flowering than most – normally in mid-summer - its height of around 1.5 is outdone by its arching spread of 2meters or more.

Philadelphus ‘Lemoinei’

Small single pure white flowers which claim the title of most scented mock orange! Philadelphus Lemoinei makes up for its small flower size by producing many blooms, so just as showy – and perhaps more dainty than some. About 1.5metres height and spread. Early summer for flowers.

Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’

Again the arching growth on upright stems, full of single flowers, but this time different in that they have a centre of lightest purple – which does not detract from the overall white show. Scented of course, and early flowering – sometimes in late spring. It grows around 1.2metres high – but be aware of its arching habit which will see it as a 2.5meter wide mound. Quite stunning!

Philadelphus ‘Manteau d’ Hermine’

Fragrant – but slightly cream coloured flowers. The flowers are very double – in profusion. A dense bush, but only to around 1 metre tall with slightly more of a spread when in flower – early summer.

Philadelphus microphyllus

The bark is attractive on this mock orange, as are the slightly nodding pairs of flowers. Upright in growth and not arching, this is a dainty little Philadelphus weighing in at around 1meter for height and spread. The small leaves account for the name suffix of ‘microphyllus’!

Care and growing Philadelphus | How to Prune Philadelphus | 



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