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Common Name: Littleleaf Mock Orange
Philadelphus microphyllus is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 1.20 metres tall.
It has edible and miscellaneous uses.
Western N. America - Utah and Colorado to California and New Mexico.
Dry rocky places in sunny rocky canyons and piñon-juniper woodland, 1200 - 3000 metres[
Easily grown in any moderately fertile preferably dry soil[
], succeeding in thin soils over chalk and tolerating 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[
Hardy to about -20°c[
]. Plants grow best in the east and south-east of Britain, they are shy to flower in gardens with cool summers[
]. 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 smelling of pineapples[
]. Formerly used as food[
]. No more details are given.
The leaves 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[
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.