Philadelphus ‘Virginal’ (Philadelphus x virginalis)
Philadelphus ‘Virginal’ (Philadelphus x virginalis)
How are the heights measured?
All tree, and nothin' but the tree! We measure from the top of the soil to the top of the tree; the height of the container or the root system is never included in our measurements.
What is a gallon container?
Nursery containers come in a variety of different sizes, and old-school nursery slang has stuck. While the industry-standard terminology is to call the sizes "Gallon Containers", that doesn't exactly translate to the traditional liquid "gallon" size we think of. You'll find we carry young 1-gallons, up to more mature 7-gallons ranging anywhere from 6 inches to 6ft.
How does the delivery process work?
All of our orders ship via FedEx Ground! Once your order is placed online, our magic elves get right to work picking, staging, boxing and shipping your trees. Orders typically ship out within 2 business days. You will receive email notifications along the way on the progress of your order, as well as tracking information to track your plants all the way to their new home!
Why are some states excluded from shipping?
The short & sweet answer is: "United States Department of Agriculture Restrictions." Every state has their own unique USDA restrictions on which plants they allow to come into their state. While we wish we could serve everyone, it's for the safety of native species and helps prevent the spread of invasive disease & pests. We've gotta protect good ole' Mother Nature, after all.
The Virginal Mock Orange is one of the highlights of spring. It has large flowers of pure-white, with many petals. These grow as clusters all along the stems, and fill the air with the delicious scent of orange blossoms. No spring garden can be without this beautiful plant, which is also easy to grow and very resistant to cold. It forms an upright shrub to 6 or 9 feet tall, with long arching branches. It is ideal for planting behind smaller shrubs that flower later in summer, as well as for making an informal hedge or covering a wall or fence.
- Pure-white double flowers in spring
- Sweetly perfumed, like orange blossom
- Perfect medium-sized shrub
- Hardy to minus 30, and free of pests or diseases
- Easily grown and beautiful
Any sunny or partially shaded spot in your garden will satisfy the Virginal Mock Orange. This plant will grow in any type of soil that is well-drained, and it will thrive in the coldest parts of the country. it has no significant pests or diseases and brings its purity, charm and grace to your garden so easily. Every garden should have this highlight of spring, smelling so sweet and glowing with beauty and charm.
- Plant Hardiness Zones 4-8
- Mature Width 6-9
- Mature Height 6-9
- Sun Needs Full Sun, Partial Sun
Flowering shrubs are one of the great joys of a garden. They are often the very reason we garden – to enjoy the beauty of flowers, with all their colors and scents. Flowering shrubs are in many ways superior to annual flowers, because they grow larger and give structure and form to the garden even when not flowering. They are also permanent, and improve as they grow older. One of the more beautiful flowering shrubs is the Virginal Mock Orange.
This medium-sized shrub is covered in clusters of large, pure-white flowers in late spring, as the new leaves are emerging. These are not only beautiful, they are also deliciously fragrant, with a scent reminiscent of orange blossom, which is why they are called ‘mock’ orange. The plant grows to between 6 and 9 feet tall, with long, arching branches. Some simple pruning is needed each year to keep this plant at its best, but that pleasant chore is well-rewarded by the beauty and perfume of the flowers.
Growing Mock Orange Shrubs
This is a traditional shrub, very suited to older gardens, but also a great addition to new ones too. It can be used successfully in a variety of ways. Plant it behind shorter, later-flowering plants as a background. Place it in an awkward corner to fill it with something beautiful. Plant a row as an informal screen along your property border, or between one part of the garden and another. One different and exceptional use for this shrub is as an espalier – that is, trained and tied to a wall or fence. Grown in this way it takes up no room in the garden, yet gives you a wonderful display, and the long, flexible branches make it easy to do.
It is usually in May or early June that the Virginal Mock Orange is in bloom. From the joints on the older stems clusters of flowers emerge. Each cluster typically has 5 to 7 flowers in it, and each flower is 2 inches across, pure-white in color, with many petals forming a beautiful full, rounded flower. These give off a lovely perfume that can be smelled several yards away. The stems themselves are long and flexible, covered in a soft, slightly peeling gray-brown bark. The leaves are green, oval in shape and 2 or 3 inches long.
Sun Exposure and Soil Conditions
The Virginal Mock Orange is an easy plant to make happy; it will grow well in both full sun and partial shade, either continuous light shade, or shade for part of the day. It grows well in almost any kind of soil, except for ones that are constantly wet. It has no significant pests or diseases and it is easy to grow, with minimal care from you.
It is also very hardy, growing well in areas with winter temperatures down to minus 30 degrees, with no damage to the buds or stems. This makes it very useful if you live in a cold area, where the choice of plants can be limited. These kinds of easy to grow plants are an essential part of every garden, as very few of us have time for a garden full of plants that need a lot of attention.
It is easy to prune your Virginal Mock Orange to keep it neat and encourage lots of flowering. Do this immediately after the flowers fade, as next year’s flowers will be formed on the new shoots produced after you prune. Cut out all the branches that have flowered, back to the main, older stems. Look out for new shoots which form lower down on those shoots that have flowered, and cut back to that new growth. Shorten by about 1/3 any stems that have not flowered, and remove completely one or two of the oldest stems. Your plant should be very open and just have a few main branches left when you are finished. Quickly the new stems will shoot up, and if you are growing this shrub on a wall, the flexible stems are easily tied in to keep all the growth flat and spread across the wall.
History and Origins of the Virginal Mock Orange
The Virginal Mock Orange has been grown in gardens for over 100 years, and remains very popular. Only the best plants last this long, so you will not be disappointed with this beautiful shrub in your garden. It has an interesting history. The famous French plant breeder Victor Lemoine had gardens and a nursery in the town of Nancy, France. He grew several wild species of mock orange, and in 1883 he received some plants of a small, sweetly-scented species called Philadelphus microphyllus. This is an American species, from Colorado and Arizona.
Lemoine crossed Philadelphus microphyllus with the tall European species, Philadelphus coronarius. He produced several attractive hybrids, some of which are still grown in gardens. He then went on the cross some of these hybrids with other hybrids he had produced, especially one particular plant with unusual double flowers. The result of his work included a plant still considered to be the very best of the double-flowered mock orange shrubs – the Virginal Mock Orange. Lemoine released this plant through his nursery in 1911.
This plant is also often called Philadelphus x virginalis. The ‘x’ indicates that the plant is a hybrid. It is obvious from this description that seedling plants may be cheaper, but they will certainly have no resemblance at all to this complex plant, the product of skill, years of work and some luck, a century ago.
Adding Virginal Mock Oranges to Your Garden
The Virginal Mock Orange is a beautiful flowering shrub that has a place in every garden, especially in colder areas. Its rich perfume will fill the air in that glorious season of spring, and we know that this perennial favorite will be quickly sold. So, you should order now, while stocks last, to enjoy the beauty of a garden classic in your own garden. You may also want to browse our collection of other rare and unique shrubs, to add more variety to your garden.