PHILADELPHUS CORONARIUS.—Mock Orange, or Syringa. South Europe, 1596. A well-known and valuable garden shrub, of from 6 feet to 10 feet high, with ovate and serrulated leaves, and pretty racemes of white or yellowish-white, fragrant flowers. P. coronarius aureo-variegatus is one of the numerous forms of this shrub, having brightly-tinted, golden foliage, but the flowers are in no way superior to those of the parent. It is, if only for the foliage, an extremely pretty and distinct variety. P. coronarius argenteo-variegatus has silvery-tinted leaves; P. coronarius flore-pleno, full double flowers; and P. coronarius Keteleeri flore-pleno is the best double-flowered form in cultivation.
P. GORDONIANUS, an American species (1839), is a well-known and beautiful shrub, in which the flowers are usually double the size of those of the common species, and which are not produced till July, while those of P. coronarius appear in early May.
P. GRANDIFLORUS (syns P. floribundus, P. latifolius and P. speciosus).—Southern United States, 1811. This has rotundate, irregularly-toothed leaves, and large white, sweetly-scented flowers produced in clusters. This forms a stout bush 10 feet high, and as much through. There are two varieties, P. grandiflorus laxus, and P. grandiflorus speciosissimus, both distinct and pretty kinds.
P. HIRSUTUS.—North America, 1820. Another handsome, small-flowered species, of dwarf growth, and having hairy leaves.
P. INODOROUS, also from North America (1738), differs little in size and shape of flowers from P. grandiflorus, but the flowers are without scent. The leaves, too, are quite glabrous and obscurely toothed.
P. LEMOINEI BOULE D’ARGENT is a cross, raised in 1888, from P. Lemoinei and the double-flowered form of P. coronarius. The flowers are double white and with the pleasant, but not heavy, scent of P. microphyllus. P. Lemoinei Gerbe de Neige bears pleasantly-scented flowers that are as large as those of the well-known P. speciosissimus. There is an erect form of P. Lemoinei named erectus that is also worthy of note.
P. LEWISI, from North America, is hardly sufficiently distinct from some of the others to warrant special notice.
P. MICROPHYLLUS, from New Mexico (1883), is of low growth, and remarkable for its slender branches, small, Myrtle-like leaves, and abundance of small, white flowers. It is a decidedly pretty shrub, but is not so hardy as the others.
P. SATZUMI (syn P. chinensis).—Japan, 1851. A slender-growing species, with long and narrow leaves, and large, white flowers.
P. TRIFLORUS and P. MEXICANUS are other species that might be worthy of including in a representative collection of these plants.
This is a valuable genus of shrubs, all being remarkable for the abundance of white, and usually sweet-scented, flowers which they produce. They require no special treatment, few soils, if at all free and rich, coming amiss to them; while even as shrubs for shady situations they are not to be despised. Propagation is effected by means of cuttings, which root freely if placed in sandy soil.