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Vascular Plants of California
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Philadelphus lewisii

Higher Taxonomy
Family: HydrangeaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb to small tree or vine. Stem: < 3 m, generally erect; bark generally peeling as thin sheets or narrow strips. Leaf: generally simple, opposite, deciduous or not, +- hairy; stipules 0; blade +- round to narrowly elliptic, entire or toothed. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flower 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted. Flower: bisexual, radial, flowers on inflorescence margins occasionally sterile and enlarged; sepals 4--10, free or fused at base, spreading or erect; petals 4--7, free, +- round to narrowly elliptic; stamens 8--12 in 2 whorls or many and clustered, filament base linear or wide and flat; pistil 1, ovary superior to inferior, chambers 2--8, ovules 1--2 or many per chamber, placentas axile or parietal, styles 1--8, free or fused at base. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal or septicidal; styles persistent or not. Seed: generally many, small to minute, oblong to fusiform, winged or not.
Genera In Family: 18 genera, +- 250 species: generally temperate, subtropical northern hemisphere; some cultivated for ornament (Carpenteria, Hydrangea, Philadelphus). Note: Philadelphaceae in TJM (1993).
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Charles F. Quibell
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: PhiladelphusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MOCK ORANGE
Habit: Shrub < 3 m. Stem: bark red-brown, aging gray, peeling as narrow rectangles or strips; twigs glabrous to hairy. Leaf: deciduous, petioled; blade 3-veined from base, +- glabrous to hairy, margin entire to toothed. Inflorescence: flower 1, or raceme to panicle, terminal, +- open. Flower: fragrant; sepals 4--5, glabrous to hairy; petals 4--5, white; stamens generally many, clustered, filaments linear, fused at base; ovary 1/2 to completely inferior, chambers 4--5, placentas axile, ovules many, style 1, branches generally 4, stigmas linear along style branches. Fruit: becoming woody, generally loculicidal. Seed: many, generally fusiform, generally brown.
Species In Genus: +- 65 species: temperate America, Eurasia. Etymology: (Greek: for Ptolemy Philadelphus, Greek king of Egypt, 309--247 BC) Note: Many intergrading infraspecific taxa described; more study needed to determine which warrant recognition.
Reference: Frazier 1999 New Mexico Botanist 13:1--6
Unabridged Reference: Hitchcock 1943 Madroño 7:35--56; Hu 1956 J Arnold Arbor 37:15--90
Philadelphus lewisii Pursh
Leaf: petiole 3--8 mm; blade 20--40 mm wide, ovate, margin entire to toothed, flat. Flower: sepals 4--7 mm; petals 8--12 mm, obovate to oblong. Chromosomes: 2n=26.
Ecology: Slopes, canyons in conifer and hardwood forest, montane chaparral; Elevation: 30--2440 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, n&c SN, s SNH, ScV (Sutter Buttes), SnGb, PR (Santa Ana Mtns); Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Montana. Flowering Time: May--Jul
Synonyms: Philadelphus californicus Benth.; Philadelphus lewisii subsp. californicus (Benth.) Munz; Philadelphus lewisii subsp. gordonianus (Lindl.) Munz
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & Charles F. Quibell
Reference: Frazier 1999 New Mexico Botanist 13:1--6
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Philadelphus lewisii

botanical illustration including Philadelphus lewisii


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Charles F. Quibell 2012, Philadelphus lewisii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 04, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 04, 2022.

Philadelphus lewisii
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© 2020 Neal Kramer
Philadelphus lewisii
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© 2007 George W. Hartwell
Philadelphus lewisii
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© 2010 Barry Breckling
Philadelphus lewisii
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© 2016 Steve Matson
Philadelphus lewisii
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Philadelphus lewisii
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer

More photos of Philadelphus lewisii in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Philadelphus lewisii:
NW, CaR, n&c SN, s SNH, ScV (Sutter Buttes), SnGb, PR (Santa Ana Mtns)
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).