littleleaf mock orange, more...
[Philadelphus microphyllus subsp. stramineus (Rydb.) C.L. Hitchc., more]
Martin and Hutchins 1980, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Heil et al. 2013, Allred and Ivey 2012, Carter 2012, Correll and Johnston 1970
Common Name: littleleaf mock orange Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Shrub General: A tall, handsome shrub, 1- 2 m tall, with opposite branching; bark gray and shredding; younger twigs light brown or red-brown, sparsely hairy. Leaves: Opposite, on petioles 2 mm long; blades ovate-elliptic to elliptic, 1-4 cm long and 4-15 mm wide, with entire to dentate margins; leaf underside covered with silky hairs, making it appear lighter in color. Flowers: White, showy, and fragrant, solitary at branch tips; sepals 4, hairy near the base, fused at the base for 2-4 mm, the lobes above the fused portion ovate, 3-6 mm long; petals 4, obovate-oblong, 5-17 mm long, white. Fruits: Capsules globose to ovate, 4-chambered, 7 mm diameter, brown. Ecology: Found on steep, rocky slopes and canyons in oak woodlands and pine forests, from 5,000-9,000 ft (1524-2743 m); flowers June-July. Distribution: CO to CA, south through TX, NM, and AZ to MEX. Notes: A distinctive shrub with its fragrant, white, 4-petaled flowers and fuzzy, opposite leaves. The most common and widespread of the Philadelphus spp, it is sometimes the most green plant you will find in a dry canyon. Looks quite similar to Fendlera rupicola, but that species has some leaves that are opposite, and some that are in clusters, or fascicled (P. microphyllus has leaves that are strictly opposite, never fascicled). Also, Philadelphus flowers have more than 20 stamens, while Fendlera flowers have 10 or fewer stamens. Ethnobotany: Fruit used as a food source. Etymology: Philadelphus is a Greek-derived name after Ptolemy Philadelphus, Greek King of Egypt from 309-247 BC; microphyllus means small-leaved. Synonyms: Philadelphus microphyllus var. linearis, P. microphyllus var. minutus, P. microphyllus var. ovatus, P. microphyllus subsp. stramineus, P. microphyllus ssp typicus, P. stramineus Editor: LCrumbacher 2011, AHazelton 2017