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Philadelphus californicus

Philadelphus californicus Benth.

California Mock Orange, Syringa, Wild Mock Orange

Hydrangeaceae (Hydrangea Family)

Synonym(s): Philadelphus gordonianus var. columbianus, Philadelphus lewisii ssp. californicus

USDA Symbol: PHCA18

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

California mock orange is a loosely branched, 3-9 ft. shrub with broad, paired leaves and fragrant, white, 2 in. flowers in elongate clusters. Except in flower, the deciduous shrub resembles a lilac bush; and like the lilac, California mock orange is not particularly showy out of flower.

This is a variable species; particularly responsive to local ecological conditions.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug


Native Distribution: B.C. to n. CA Sierras, e. to the Continental Divide in MT
Native Habitat: Rocky slopes & canyons; gullies & watercoarses

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Rocky soils.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Easy to propagate from cuttings of not too brittle, young wood taken in mid-July or from seed.
Seed Collection: Capsule matures in late summer and seeds are dispursed in September and October. Seeds can be extracted by gently crushing the capsules and separating the seeds in an aspirator.
Seed Treatment: For best germination, seed should be stratified in coarse sand for eight weeks at 41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes

Additional resources

USDA: Find Philadelphus californicus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Philadelphus californicus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Philadelphus californicus


Record Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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