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Common Name: Mexican Orange Flower
Choisya ternata is an evergreen shrub that can grow up to 3.00 metres tall.
The plant is sometimes grown as an ornamental, where it can be used to make a hedge
Southern N. America - Mexico.
Chalky soils, often near the sea[
Requires an open sunny but sheltered position[
]. Plants can be damaged by cold winds[
]. Plants grow equally well whether in full sun or in deep shade[
]. They succeed in most soils[
], but prefer a rather light loam[
]. They require a well-drained soil, tolerating drought once established and atmospheric pollution[
A very ornamental plant[
], it usually survives very severe winters in Britain but can be damaged in spells of lesser cold, especially in the New Year[
]. Plants are normally undamaged at temperatures around -10°c but can be defoliated at -15°c[
]. Whole branches have a habit of dying for no apparent reason[
The Mexican orange flower is moderately fast growing when young, but it soon slows down with age[
]. The plants are very tolerant of pruning and can be cut right back to the ground if required[
]. Pruning is generally unnecessary for this species, apart from cutting out frost-damaged wood[
Some named forms have been selected for their ornamental value[
The flowers appear mainly in late spring[
], but plants can produce a few flowers in the autumn[
]. They often also flower intermittently all through the summer[
]. The flowers are borne at the shoot tips[
The crushed foliage has a pungent aromatic scent of oranges[
] and the flowers are sweetly fragrant with the powerful aroma of orange blossom[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Plants can be grown as an informal hedge, they also respond well to clipping and so can be grown in a more formal manner[
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least 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, 6 - 8cm long, early July in gentle heat in individual pots in a frame[
]. High percentage[
Cuttings of almost ripe wood, 10 - 15cm with a heel, August in a frame. Good percentage. Plant out in spring[