Philadelphus lewisii Pursh Mockorange, Syringa Hydrangeaceae Hydrangea
Family

Idaho State Plant.

CHARACTERISTICS
Shrub 1.5- 3 meters tall
leaves
2.5-7 cm long, commonly 1-4 cm wide, mostly ovate, ovate-lanceolate,
margins entire or remotely denticulate on older branches, but differing
on sprouts being serrate, dentate; hairiness varies from glabrous to
hairy on both surfaces;


flowers
Fragrant, thus the name Mockorange; lower flowers from leaf axils in a
gradient from leafy to bractless at the terminus in racemes; adnate
portion of the calyx usually glabrous, the ovate, ovate-lanceolate four
calyx lobes approximately equal in length to the 6 mm long
turbinate-shaped portion; four oblong, oblong-ovate petals white, obtuse
or emarginate; numerous stamens vary from 25 to 50 per flower, filaments
and anthers with 1-numerous hairs; styles equal in length to the
stamens, connate from ½ length to entire length; ovary appearing to be
inferior

fruit
an ovoid 6-10 mm long capsule appearing to be inferior, but actually
only so about 3/5 of the way with pointed ends; linear seeds bear an
erose-coronate caruncle on one end.

habitat
along streams, in rocky basalt areas, talus slopes in dry areas with
sagebrush and Ponderosa Pine.

distribution
British Columbia to northern California eastward through southern
British Columbia, Washington, Oregon to Continental Divide in Montana
and in Idaho north of the Snake River, varying in elevation from sea
level to about 7000 ft.

other
This is the Idaho State Flower. It is a valuable ornamental. The
large, white flowers cover the erect shrub.


Photos and content written by Karl Holte, 2002