Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Sweet Mock Orange, English Dogwood
Philadelphus coronarius

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Philadelphus (fil-uh-DEL-fuss) (Info)
Species: coronarius (kor-oh-NAR-ee-us) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

23 members have or want this plant for trade.


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Late Spring/Early Summer

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Flowers are fragrant

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From woody stem cuttings
By simple layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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By poorgeorge
Thumbnail #1 of Philadelphus coronarius by poorgeorge

By gtwannabe
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By Khyssa
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By frostweed
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By frostweed
Thumbnail #7 of Philadelphus coronarius by frostweed

There are a total of 21 photos.
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11 positives
6 neutrals
3 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative pmmGarak On Jan 11, 2015, pmmGarak from Gppingen
Germany wrote:

I "bought" this shrub along with the house, and after 2 seasons finally got myself to remove it. It only blooms well on older wood, yet insists on shooting lots of leaf-only stems straight up to 3-4(!!) meters height. The flowers weren't really fragrant to me, but the biggest problem were the aphids - thousands of them! they went to a point where on some twigs the infestation was so bad that the sugar juice from the aphids caught mold, killing the aphids and melting them to a black, smelly mass.
Needless to say that it took a whole day to dig that cursed thing out and follow all those runners.

Negative Rickwebb On Jan 22, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

A large shrub that was commonly planted in the late 1800's and early 1900's around old houses and in old neighborhoods. It is not commonly sold anymore as the gardening public has gone to dwarf hybrid cultivars as 'Minnesota Snowflake'. Mockoranges get densely twiggy and full of dead wood and need a lot of proper selective pruning to look good as they get unkempt in habit. They have no fall color and their bark is not pretty. They are not clean, neat woody plants. Their good feature is white, fragrant flowers in late spring and that's it.

Neutral sandnsea On Jul 20, 2013, sandnsea from Zephyrhills South, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant is a beautiful speciman when it is in bloom.
I have not noticed any fragrance from my plants, if there is any to be found it is very slight. Profuse in its reproduction from runners that shoot upwards. It becomes quite large in the shade but it dislikes our full florida sun...just too HOT. It is decidious in the fall/winter but dont worry it does return.
It can be grown in a container. In our area it is called a English Dogwood Shrub.

Neutral wingsandblooms On Jun 13, 2012, wingsandblooms from Saint Matthews, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Does anyone know if any variety of the Mock Orange shrub blooms 2-3 times per year? I have had a friend give me a potted shrub that he had been unable to identify. He says it blooms 3 times each season. Each time all of the blooms die and fall off totally baring the tree of blooms, then another round of blooms come. But he says that the 3rd set of blooms is the "first frost of fall" prediction blooms. He says that the shrub came from his grandmother's home (I believe here in South Carolina) and when the 3rd set of blooms died and fell off, it was then time for the first frost of fall. He said that the old folks predicted the first frost by this shrub. I have not seen it bloom, but it looks to me sort of like a Mock Orange and he says it has white flowers about the size of a half-dollar. Has anyone else heard of a shrub that this might resemble - a "frost-predicting" shrub? I'll try to get a photo of it tomorrow, and a closeup pic of the leaves and bark so it might help. By the way, it also seems to set little bud-looking seed pods of some kind after the flowers. The shrub he has given me is not blooming at this time.

Neutral Zenyatta On Oct 6, 2010, Zenyatta from Dallas, TX wrote:

I had this bush in our yard as a child. Could not wait to get one for my own yard but was not sure it would do well in hot Texas. I have had it for 4 years. This is the first year it bloomed. And very little but fragrant. I may have made a mistake trimming it back after the first year it was planted. Now I am afraid to cut anything off it. Come to think of it mom never did a thing to ours when I was a kid. It looks kinda puny now. Leaves are light green and curling under. May have some bugs.

Positive vinehillfarm On Jun 3, 2009, vinehillfarm from Blue Rock, OH wrote:

I discovered this shrub, which spans a good 30 feet by 30 feet, growing on land I purchased to live on located in the foothill applalachian region (southcentral eastern area) of Ohio. The land was raw and we literally had to cut our way through thick brush, trees and thousands of vines (Tarzan in order to get into the land and make a spot for the cabin we are now living in.
Ironically, once we started clearing, and using a Bobcat for our cabin site, we dug up many hand cut foundation stones! Then, as we progressed by hand pulling vegetation, we found two old wells. Inside they are perfectly formed circles of layered stone and have huge hand cut stone covers with two holes drilled into the top. Obviously, this site was once occupied a long, long time ago and someone planted this fine shrub that has lived on as if to tell part of a story of the life of those who once lived here before me.
Anyway, this shrub started blooming profusely soon after we moved in our 'un'finished cabin. The fragrance is intoxicating and can be smelled all over our farm!
It took a little research but I found out that it is a Mock Orange. I also read somewhere that it is the flower used in marriage ceremonies in Pioneer days.....and rightly so!!!
My "shrub" is 8 foot tall and spreads as mentioned, about 30x30feet. It's toothed green leaves have lightly grooved veings and their is a slight gloss to the leaves with are opposites on the stems. The underside is a lighter green with just a little feel of prickly fur. The stems are woody brown but the stems holding the flowers are green. The stems look round but I can feel a slight edge to them.
The flowers are white with four petals. The petals are lightly toothed. They look like a cup and then open wide and almost flat. There are bright orangeish yellow stamens in the center of the flower. There are several flowers (bunched) on the end of each stem.
I would compare the fragrance strength to that of Carolina Jasmine. It is also as strong and sweet as the Magnolia and Wisteria but the difference is how well the fragrance seems to drift about the area here. A wonderful northern flowering shrub and I'm so happy to have it here on my farm, not far from my cabin window!

Positive pdixon03 On May 15, 2008, pdixon03 from Knoxville, TN wrote:

I just purchased this beautiful plant to add to my "cottage" garden. Unfortunately, I was under the impression it was ok in the full afternoon sun. After days of drooping and some research I have decided to move it to an area that gets morning sun. I hope it will "perk" up. The smell is faint and when in full bloom is a beautiful addition to the garden.

Positive pookiescomet On Jun 3, 2007, pookiescomet from Levittown, NY wrote:

This grows wild all over my yard. In fact we have a 6 foot fence that we put up & my backyard neighbor has a fence as well, because of property lines we put our fence up with a 2 foot space between both fences. After cutting the shrubs down to the ground they have grown up & over the fence & cascade in to our yard with wonderful white blooms, they lighten up the back yard here in Levittown NY Long Island. They can become invasive but the fence is keeping them in check. We also have one that grows against the house & reaches 8 feet tall.

Positive SooBee360 On May 4, 2007, SooBee360 from Hudson, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Planted two of these about 15 years ago, they still bloom delightfully every year. They like living as understories - partly shady. Very nice white blossoms, although yes, in winter they are deciduous and stalky, but then so are alot of my other trees - they just blend in. I would say it's a more "northern" shrub, not for some who prefer total tropical/everygreen yards. I like it because the real Dogwood trees have trouble growing here - too warm for them. Mine seem to thrive on neglect, although I will water them during a drought.

Positive stoner On Dec 27, 2006, stoner from Arlington, TX (Zone 7b) wrote:

planted in mostly shade area 5 years ago and maybe 1 flower a year. moved to 50/50 sun area-midday only of full sun- bloomed like crazy.

Positive OmahaGal On May 28, 2006, OmahaGal from Omaha, NE wrote:

We had a Mock Orange at our house in Lincoln NE and the fragrance would knock you over. When we moved to Omaha we ran out and bought one to plant. It didn't bloom for about 3 years .. and then finally began to bloom but had little or no fragrance. The shrub is now about 15 years old, blooms profusely every year and has a mild fragrance.
In doing research I discovered that this plant in its original form was quite fragrant. But it has adapted and changed, and many of the new (improved????) species that are available now, are not very fragrant. We really enjoy it and it makes great cuttings.

Positive escambiaguy On Apr 23, 2006, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

These shrubs vary in fragrance. I have one that has no smell and another that smells wonderful. They are nice 'natural' looking shrubs that don't overpower the landscape. One plus...they are not invasive.

Neutral Heavinscent On Apr 13, 2006, Heavinscent from South West, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

I think I got a dud! Mine has no scent at all.
Its still very pretty so I can't say its a negtive, but I really do wish it was fragrant!! A word to the wise, sniff before you buy.

Positive roddhall On Aug 13, 2004, roddhall from Whitefish Bay, WI (Zone 5b) wrote:

My mother-in-law has a mock orange that blooms beautifully. It's in Slinger, WI - zone 5a - planted where it's sheltered from north and west winds but with sun most of the day.

Positive Khyssa On Jul 9, 2004, Khyssa from Inverness, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have a large English Dogwood which is about 10 feet tall not including what I like to call it's feelers. The bush is very dense with 5 or 6 long curving branches (feelers) that extend about 3-4 feet above the rest of the bush. When in full bloom the bush is nearly completely white with clusters of flower even appearing at the end of it's feelers. My bush spreads by sending out underground runners that can sprout as much as 4 feet away from the main plant. The flower have four pure white petals, a bright yellow center, and no fragrance. The bush is planted in full sun and has no problem dealing with the summer heat of central Florida.

Negative CatskillKarma On Jun 11, 2004, CatskillKarma from West Kill, NY wrote:

I have been growing this shrub for five years in my garden in the Catskills (zone 5A). It is growing vigorously despite severe recent winters, and now has lots of stems and is eight feet tall. However, it has never bloomed--perhaps because of late frosts? Wet feet? (my soil is heavy clay, and remains wet until July). I have been very disappointed because it was magnificent and extremely fragrant in my mother's Connecticut garden (zone 5b) for many years.

Positive frostweed On Apr 22, 2004, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

The Mock Orange shrub is a wonderful plant. My dear aunt had one when I was a child and lived in Spain. The scent from this shrub together with madonna lilies which bloom at the same time is intoxicating. When I came to this country 43 years ago I looked for one to have in my yard and it took a long time before I found it, but I have had it for 30 years now and it is still going strong. I have also propagated it by cuttings and have four in total plus I have given some away. It is in beautiful bloom now here in Texas. The blooms last about three weeks and the rest of the year it is very inconspicous but worth wating for the big show in Spring.

Neutral hawkarica On Apr 21, 2004, hawkarica from Odessa, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

This plant will grow in the Tampa Florida and flowers in April and May. It seems to prefer to send up multiple shoots from the ground rather than grow tall. Mine stays at around 3 to 4 feet but gets a little wider each year. It does not like the hot Florida sun and by July, it is in full decline. It looks rugged until February when it begins to leaf out anew. The flowers are white, four petaled and not particularly fragrant. It is generally sold under the name English Dogwood.

Positive NANSUSHA On Mar 2, 2004, NANSUSHA wrote:

I had this along a fence at my home in St. Augustine, Florida. In spring people would stop their cars to look at it. When it's blooming it's great, when it's not blooming it's pretty, in the winter it looks pretty rugged, but can be cut way back.

Roots easily from a pruned stick.

Neutral Baa On Apr 8, 2002, Baa wrote:

A deciduous, upright shrub from Southern Europe.

Has ovate, mid green, toothed leaves. Bears heavily scented, cup shaped, white flowers.

Flowers May-July

Likes a well drained, fertile soil in full sun or partial shade. Not keen on too much winter wet.

Prune back flowered shoots to young shoots and strong buds after flowering.

Attracts blackfly aphids by the hundreds which can damage young shoots.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
Anchorage, Alaska
Hope, Arkansas
Martinez, California
Oceanside, California
Santa Clara, California
Wilmington, Delaware
Bartow, Florida
Daytona Beach, Florida
Gainesville, Florida
Hudson, Florida
Interlachen, Florida
Inverness, Florida
Jacksonville, Florida
Keystone Heights, Florida
Odessa, Florida
Orange Park, Florida
Seffner, Florida
Tampa, Florida
Webster, Florida
Zephyrhills, Florida (2 reports)
Atlanta, Georgia
Aurora, Illinois
Knox, Indiana
Olathe, Kansas
Lexington, Kentucky
Bossier City, Louisiana
Deridder, Louisiana
Lake Charles, Louisiana
Mandeville, Louisiana
Marion, Louisiana
Monroe, Louisiana
Plain Dealing, Louisiana
Stonewall, Louisiana
West Monroe, Louisiana
Crofton, Maryland
Cumberland, Maryland
Pikesville, Maryland
Danvers, Massachusetts
Mashpee, Massachusetts
Newton Highlands, Massachusetts
Roslindale, Massachusetts
Stevensville, Michigan
Madison, Mississippi
Mathiston, Mississippi
Pascagoula, Mississippi
Lincoln, Nebraska
Omaha, Nebraska
Neptune, New Jersey
Levittown, New York
Pittsboro, North Carolina
Vale, North Carolina
Blue Rock, Ohio
Canton, Ohio
Columbus, Ohio
Oceanside, Oregon
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Schwenksville, Pennsylvania
Smokerun, Pennsylvania
Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
Conway, South Carolina
Saint Matthews, South Carolina
Summerville, South Carolina
Knoxville, Tennessee
Lebanon, Tennessee
Arlington, Texas (2 reports)
Brenham, Texas
Broaddus, Texas
Conroe, Texas
Hereford, Texas
Katy, Texas
Orange, Texas
Willis, Texas
Everett, Washington
Slinger, Wisconsin

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