Mock Orange - Philadelphus ssp.
Family - Hydrangeaceae
Also known as - Sweet Mock Orange, English Dogwood

Philadelphus is popular garden shrub grown for its showy swaths of white flowers in late spring.  It is a mostly deciduous genus of about 60 species of flowering plants in the Hydrangea family; from our researches we think our example in Brickfields Park is Philadelphus coronarius.  Growing to around 6M (19.5ft) tall they are widely native to America, Europe and Asia.  Their common name of Mock Orange is apparently thought to be in reference to their flowers, which in wild found plants look similar to various Citrus species and smell of Orange or Jasmine.  The name Philadelphus is supposedly derived from the Greek king of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphus and coronarius for being used in crowns or garlands.

Opposite dark green cordate leaves with smooth, toothed, serrated or spiked edges depending on variety, from 2.5-15cm (1-6) inches long, and about half as much in width.  White flowers of four petals and sepals, 1–4 cm (0.4-1.6in) in diameter with prominent stamens, some varieties have frilled edges or double flowered forms.  The fruit is a small capsule, containing numerous small seeds.  Mock-oranges are the food source of several species of Lepidoptera.  Whilst also known as English Dogwood it is not related to the Dogwoods.

Mock Orange - Philadelphus ssp., click for a larger image
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