Thursday, 21 December 2017


Philadelphus, (the mock-orange) is a genus of about 60 species of shrubs from 1 to 6 m tall, native to North America, Central America, Asia and (locally) in southeast Europe. They are named "mock-orange" in reference to their flowers, which in wild species look somewhat similar to those of oranges and lemons (Citrus) at first glance, and smell of orange flowers and jasmine (Jasminum).

Philadelphus is named after an ancient Greek king of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphus and the name literally means ‘loving one's brother’ (hence Philadelphia, 'City of brotherly love'). Most Philadelphus are deciduous but a few species from the south of the genus' range are evergreen. The leaves are opposite, simple, with serrated margins, from 1 to 14 cm long. The flowers are white, with four petals and sepals, 1–4 cm diameter, and commonly (but not in all species) sweetly scented. The fruit is a small capsule, containing numerous small seeds. The bark is thin and flaky, finely shredding in longitudinal strips.

For a long time, Philadelphus coronarius was the only mock-orange of gardens, though some adventurous Americans grew the native P. inodorus that Mark Catesby had discovered growing on the banks of the Savannah River; it appeared in Lady Skipwith's garden lists and George Washington ordered some from Bartram in 1792. Mock-oranges are popular shrubs in parks and gardens, grown for their reliable display of late spring flowers; the scented species are particularly valued. In addition to the species, there are numerous garden origin hybrids and cultivars available, selected for doubleness and large flowers, with some compromise as to scent.

This blossom seemed apt today as in Melbourne we have had an incident where a car driven by a mentally disturbed drug addict ploughed into a crowd of people in a busy central thoroughfare in the City and injured seriously 19 people. This floral offering in sympathy for all affected and in thanks to our emergency services and personnel who responded in a timely and effective fashion.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.


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