Philadelphus lewisii ‘Cumulonimbus’

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USDA Hardiness zone: Zn4b -20º to -25ºF

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Philadelphus lewisii ‘Cumulonimbus’

This seedling Mock Orange appeared in our nursery rooted right into our gravel substrate. It was either a seedling of a few Philadelphus from eastern Oregon that we raised  a several years ago or it is a seedling of a naturally occurring plant about 50 meters away on the forest margin of our wholesale nursery. Either way its an astonishing shrub in full bloom. Rather than small clusters of white flowers with a yellow center this shrub creates 6″ long stems with clusters of up to 10 on each. The effect is a billowing cloud of white flowers for many weeks in June to July. No other native Philadelphus we have seen compares in number of flowers. The foliage is literally obscured by the lightly orange blossom scented white flowers. Fast growing even in less than perfect conditions to 9′ tall by 4′ wide in 7 years. The parent plant gets no supplemental water whatsoever relying on only what falls from the sky. The handsome mid green leaves take on yellow tints in autumn but is not a show stopper. In bloom, however, it is. Loved by pollinators. Full sun to very light shade in average to enriched soil. Water consistently for the first season to establish then none in subsequent years. Wonderful specimen or hedgerow member . Extraordinary in full bloom. Blooms on wood from the previous season, prune if needed AFTER blooming . This form has a  nice sweet scent that becomes most apparent several years after being in the ground. Associated plants in the wild are Corylus cornuta californica and Oemleria cerasiformis in the Willamette Valley. Oregon native plant.

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