What Is a Mock Orange Plant?

A mock orange plant is a shrub in the genus Philadelphus that produces fragrant white flowers in the spring or early summer. These flowers resemble the blossoms of citrus trees, and their citrusy aroma is reminiscent of orange blossoms and jasmine.

Some of the most common species of mock oranges include the sweet mock orange (P. coronarius), the littleleaf mock orange (P. microphyllus) and the virginal mock orange (P. virginalis). Lewis' mock orange (P. lewisii), also known as wild mock orange, is native to the western United States and Canada.

Mock oranges range in size at maturity from the 3-foot-tall littleleaf mock orange to the 10-foot-tall sweet mock orange. Mock orange plants thrive in full sun and moist, well-drained soil in hardiness zones 4 to 8. Once established, mock orange plants are drought-tolerant. The flowers attract butterflies.