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Mock orange

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Mock orange (Philadelphus species) are shrubs or small trees. Normally grown for ornamental value of their large and fragrant flowers which resemble citrus tree flowers. They can also be used to make soap.


Leaves, flowers and bark all contain saponins,[1] a class of chemical compounds which lather in water. All mock orange species have leaves which create a sticky mucilage when crushed. Native Americans in some regions used P. lewissi for personal bathing and washing clothes.[2]


  1. Crawford, M (2016). Creating a Forest Garden: working with nature to grow edible crops. Green Books. ISBN 9781900322621.
  2. Buchanan, R. (1999). A weaver's garden: Growing plants for natural dyes and fibers. Mineola, N.Y: Dover Publications.