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Philadelphus microphyllus
Philadelphus microphyllus (Mock Orange)
Hydrangeaceae (Hydrangea Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Woodlands, openings. Early summer.
Prater Ridge Trail, Mesa Verde National Park, July 9, 2010.

Philadelphus microphyllus grows from two-to-six feet tall in an open arching form.  Long, gray-striped stems bend and bear numerous bell-shaped, small white flowers.  Although one common name is "Mock Orange", the fragrance of this plant is not very orange-like and not very pleasant.  Leaves are narrow, short and numerous.

Mock Orange grows in habitat very similar to that of Cliff Fendler Bush but the latter is much larger in all respects, is far more common and noticeable, and blooms about a month earlier.

The genus is named for Ptolemy Philadelphus, King of Egypt 2,400 years ago.  Greek gives us "philos" for "love" and "adelphos" for "brother".  The species name is Greek for "small leaves". 

Augustus Fendler was the first to collect this plant for science; he found it in the mountains above Santa Fe in 1847 and Asa Gray named and described the plant in 1849.

Philadelphus microphyllus

Philadelphus microphyllus

Philadelphus microphyllus (Mock Orange)
Hydrangeaceae (Hydrangea Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Woodlands, openings. Early summer.
Prater Ridge Trail, Mesa Verde National Park, July 9, 2010.

The delicate flowers of Mock Orange are quite numerous and showy.

Philadelphus microphyllus

Philadelphus microphyllus

Philadelphus microphyllus (Mock Orange)
Hydrangeaceae (Hydrangea Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Woodlands, openings. Early summer.
Navajo Reservation, Arizona, June 24, 2006.

Philadelphus microphyllus
Philadelphus microphyllus (Mock Orange)
Hydrangeaceae (Hydrangea Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Woodlands, openings. Early summer.
Prater Ridge Trail, Mesa Verde National Park, August 13, 2006.

A bumper season of flowers produced a bumper crop of seed pods.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Philadelphus microphyllus