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Common Name: Mock Orange
Philadelphus lewisii is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 3.60 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials..
Western N. America - British Columbia to Oregon.
Gullies, water courses, rocky cliffs, talus slopes and rocky hillsides of sagebrush deserts[
An easily grown plant, succeeding in any moderately fertile soil, and also in thin soils over chalk[
]. Tolerates poor soils[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Succeeds in semi-shade but prefers a position in full sun where it will flower more freely[
Plants are hardy to about -15°c.
Some named forms have been developed for their ornamental value[
]. Plants are very tolerant of pruning, one third of the stems can be cut down to the ground each year in order to promote fresh growth and heavier flowering[
A very ornamental plant with aromatic flowers[
]. This plant is the State flower of Idaho[
The dried powdered leaves, or the powdered wood, has been mixed with pitch or oil and used as a rub on sores and swollen joints[
]. A poultice of the bruised leaves has been used to treat infected breasts[
]. A strained decoction of the branches, sometimes with the flowers, has been used as a soaking solution in the treatment of sore chests, eczema and bleeding haemorrhoids[
The leaves and flowers are rich in saponins, when crushed and mixed with water they produce a lather that is an effective cleaner, used on the body, clothes etc[
]. You can wash your hands by merely picking a couple of leaves or a bunch of blossom, wetting your hands and then rubbing the plant material vigorously as if it was a bar of soap[
]. This soap is a very gentle cleaner that does not remove the body's natural oils, but does remove dirt. It is not very effective against oil[
]. An infusion of the bark can also be used[
The stems can be used in making fine coiled baskets[
Wood - strong, very hard. Used for tool handles[
Seed - best if given 1 months cold stratification[
]. Sow late winter in a light position in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 7 - 10cm long side-shoots, mid summer in a shaded frame. Plant out in spring. High percentage[
Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, 15 - 25cm with a heel, December in a sheltered bed outdoors. Fair to good percentage[
Layering in summer. Very easy.