Lewis's Mock-Orange...breathe deeply!
June is the month for Lewis's Mock-Orange (Philadelphus lewisii), one of the most heavenly scents in nature. This is a native shrub that can extend its bushy growth to 10' tall. White flowers with four petals and multiple yellow stamens invite you to stick your nose in and immerse yourself in the heady fragrance...just make sure you are not dislodging a swallowtail butterfly or inhaling a bee; they love mock-orange too! I have even seen hummingbirds going for the nectar.
Named for Meriwether Lewis (the Lewis and Clark expedition likened the aroma to orange blossoms), this plant is a great choice for Northwest gardens; they like sun but can handle part sun/part shade and are summer-drought tolerant. When the summer sun shines on the petals, few other flowers can match the intoxicating bouquet! A bit of trivia...mock-orange is also the state flower of Idaho. When out on a walk, keep your eyes (and nostrils) open for this cool plant, and by all means...indulge yourself!!