Herb: Mock Orange

Latin name: Philadelphus coronarius

Synonyms: Philadelphus pallidus

Family: Hydrangeaceae

Description of the plant:


4 m
(13 feet)



Habitat of Mock Orange:

Scrub and woodland on warm rocky hills and screes.

Other uses of the herb:

The leaves are rich in saponins, when crushed and mixed with water they produce a lather that is an effective cleaner, used on the body, clothes etc. You can wash your hands by merely picking a couple of leaves or a bunch of blossom, wetting your hands and then rubbing the plant material vigorously as if it was a bar of soap. This soap is a very gentle cleaner that does not remove the body's natural oils, but does remove dirt. It is not very effective against oil. The leaves can also be used as a duster and a wood polish. Plants can be grown as a hedge.

Propagation of Mock Orange:

Seed - best if given 1 months cold stratification. Sow February in a light position in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm long side-shoots, July/August in a shaded frame. Plant out in spring. High percentage. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, 15 - 25cm with a heel, December in a sheltered bed outdoors. Fair to good percentage. Layering in summer. Very easy.

Cultivation of the herb:

Scrub and woodland on warm rocky hills and screes.

Medicinal use of Mock Orange:

None known

Known hazards of Philadelphus coronarius:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.