The yard of the house I lived in two years ago was lined at the edge with these beautiful flowering shrubs. I had never seen them before and the neighbors told me they were English dogwoods.
The flowers certainly resembled the bracts that make up the showy white part the dogwood tree, but something was a little off. After doing some online research, I discovered that this lovely woody shrub is none other than the scentless mock orange or Philadelphus inodorus.
This beautiful, woody shrub is native to the continental U.S. and can be found growing along the edges of streams, in the woods, and in other moist soil areas. It prefers part shade to sun. It’s deciduous, but in the late spring when the leaves have grown back, it produces an abundance of gorgeous white flowers.
Leaves are oppositely arranged and the shrub can grow to a height of 10 feet. The bark is a light brown color and can appear a little “shaggy.” The flowers are an inch or two in size but en masse they are simply astounding.
The rest of the year, after the blooms, the shrub is a bit nondescript and it will require frequent trimmings to keep it from taking over as it will grow from runners underground. It’s a bit unruly in my experience.
If you know someone who has this shrub, you can propagate it from cuttings which can be rooted directly in soil.
Despite the unruliness of the shrub itself, the blooms are so pretty, it makes it a worthwhile addition to the garden. Just be sure to keep it contained!