Calling all "judges" for the annual DG County Fair! Vote for your favorites here!

SOLVED: Very old, large, white-flowered shrub

This guy is a huge shrub and obviously very old. He's about 15 feet wide and 15 feet tall. The blooms are in white clusters, and cover the entire shrub. There must be millions of blooms in all.

He was here when we bought the farm, and I'd love to know what it is. It's the most impressive shrub we have on this property.

I put two pictures (one of the blooms, and one foliage shot) right here:


Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

does it smell like oranges? It looks like a double flowered Philadelphus (mock orange).

It's a Philadelphus 'Buckley's Quill'.

Boonville, MO(Zone 5a)

That is very pretty Dave!

I did some research on the Philadelphus "Buckley's Quill" and learned:

"Buckley's Quill' - A semi-dwarf plant (Vis. 1) with a
height of 6 feet and a spread of 4 feet. The common
name refers to the 1 inch flowers (Vis. 2) with up to
30 quill-like petals."

Well, my shrub is easily 15-20 feet tall and 15-20 feet wide.

Further, based on what I've found so far, the Philadelphus is only found in the Western part of the United States and southwest Canada. Yet, I'm in the southeast US. The plant was discovered by Lewis (of Lewis and Clark) on their expedition out west.

Can this be my shrub, and how?


One more piece of information. I smelled the blooms this afternoon, and while the bloom is fragrant, it does not resemble oranges at all.


Boonville, MO(Zone 5a)

Dave, that is the same info I found in my AHS Encyclopedia but it does look exactly like it. I figured you were just really lucky to have such a strong growing version of it. Is that the same source you got your info? If so then you can compare the picture to yours.

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

Dave - my first instinct was a Deutzia because I had never seen a Philadelphus with that shape flower. But it looks as though it probably is Buckley's Quill.

Princeton, NJ(Zone 6a)

I'm going with Deutzia scabra!

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Philadelphus and Deutzia were my first two choices, too. But I don't know....something keeps telling me this may be in the Prunus family? Maybe a Flowering Almond? They do have some with double white flowers, but I can't find any good pictures to compare.

It looks more like a Deutzia than a Philadelphus to me, based on the pictures that I've found.


Deutzia scabra!! I found a picture that is the PERFECT MATCH for the shrub in question here.

I am 100% positive that the picture above is the exact same shrub as what I'm trying to identify here. Thanks Jerseyguy!


Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

Thank you Dave :-)

Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Dave, that IS a very pretty shrub. Congrats!

Hi Dave I'm glad you got that one sorted however the reason I thought it was philadelphus is because Deutzia scabra is only supposed to grow 10ft tall and 6ft spread according to my RHS book. Oh well I guess they are wrong LOL

Every reference to height I've seen, Baa, say 10 feet maximum height, but they are definitely wrong.

This shrub is massive! Probably one of the larger in existence.


Murfreesboro, TN(Zone 7a)

Dave you might want to have your county extension agent take a look at it. Plants that achieve unusual size are sometimes placed on a state or national registry. I recently saw an article about a Dogwood that had been given that type of honor - it was pretty cool.

Maybe I will, vols!

Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

And maybe, just maybe, Dave will let us have cuttings of this magnificent specimen. :-)

Princeton, NJ(Zone 6a)

Most reference books max this shrub out at 10ft which in itself is pretty darn big. To put it in better perspective, the ceiling in your average home is only 8ft and this shrub typically can get even bigger than that and still fall within its normal height range! A 15-20ft shrub would be at, or over the PEAK of the roof on your average 1 story home, in fact, that qualifies as a small tree so if its really that big, then you have a real winner. Why don't you take a pic of the entire shrub, I for one would love to see it in all its glory!

I'll do that Jerseyguy. I was going to today, actually, but I got real busy...

I'll get Trish to stand in front of the shrub/tree so you can get a perspective as to the height.

I'll post a link to the picture on this thread when I get it posted.


Okay, the pictures are up.

There are 5 pictures on that page, and the latter 3 are the ones that I took today to show the height. I put Trish in the picture so you'd have a point of reference as to the height. The little one somehow snuck into the pictures also. :)


Troy, VA(Zone 7a)

Dave - this is phenominal!! Trish and the baby look pretty charming also :-). I find it so hard to believe this is a deutzia growing to such enormous proportions but the blooms would clearly indicate that it is. It has been said that some things in America are larger than life and now I'm inclined to think that there might be some truth in that. I am quite fascinated by your shrub (tree ?) and will research some more. All I can say is, lucky you and when are you going to take!

Princeton, NJ(Zone 6a)

WOW! Thats a big one alright!

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