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Taxon  Report  
Philadelphus lewisii  Pursh
Lewis' mock orange,   Mock orange,   Wild mock orange
Philadelphus lewisii is a shrub that is native to California, and also found elsewhere in western North America.
Siskiyou Del Norte Modoc Humboldt Shasta Lassen Trinity Plumas Tehama Butte Mendocino Glenn Sierra Yuba Lake Nevada Colusa Placer Sutter El Dorado Yolo Alpine Napa Sonoma Sacramento Mono Amador Solano Calaveras Tuolumne San Joaquin Marin Contra Costa Alameda Santa Cruz Mariposa Madera San Francisco San Mateo Merced Fresno Stanislaus Santa Clara Inyo San Benito Tulare Kings Monterey San Bernardino San Luis Obispo Kern Santa Barbara Ventura Los Angeles Riverside Orange San Diego Imperial

Bloom Period
Genus: Philadelphus
Family: Hydrangeaceae  
Category: angiosperm  
PLANTS group:Dicot
Jepson eFlora section: eudicot

Habitat: canyons, slopes

Communities: Yellow Pine Forest, Mixed Evergreen Forest, Foothill Woodland

Name Status:
Accepted by JEF + PLANTS

Alternate Names:
JEFPhiladelphus californicus
PLANTSPhiladelphus gordonianus
JEFPhiladelphus lewisii ssp. californicus
JEF + PLANTSPhiladelphus lewisii ssp. gordonianus
PLANTSPhiladelphus lewisii var. angustifolius
Information about  Philadelphus lewisii from other sources
Nursery availability from CNPLX
This plant is available commercially.
Jepson eFlora


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[Wikipedia] Ecology, Human Use, Symbolism: It was first collected for science by scientist and explorer Meriwether Lewis in 1806 during the Lewis and Clark Expedition, and so was named after him.[3][4] Ecology Leaves and stems. The foliage of Lewis' mock orange is of moderate importance as winter forage for elk and deer in British Columbia, Idaho, and Montana. In Montana, a 1957 study found that it comprised 2% of mule deer diets in the winter and a trace in the summer.[8] The seeds are eaten by quail and squirrels.[8] It occurs in dense shrub habitats which provide good thermal and security cover for wildlife.[8] Philadelphus lewisii is able to spread vegetatively and from seed. It forms seedbanks in the top 2 inches (5.1 cm) of soil.[8] Fire ecology The shrub is native to relatively arid regions of the American West which experience frequent wildfires, and is therefore quite well adapted to fire. Although mock-orange is typically completely top-killed by fires, it will enthusiastically resprout from rhizomes and root crowns afterward.[8] A 1971 study found that in the next growing season after a fire, mock-orange had already regrown to 50% of its previous diameter and height, and that those plants had an average of 28.9 to 38.0 sprouts per plant postfire compared to just 0.6 to 1.5 before.[11] Human use Ethnobotany Native American tribes used P. lewisii for numerous purposes. The hard wood was useful for making hunting and fishing tools, snowshoes, pipes, combs, cradles, netting shuttles, and furniture. The leaves and bark, which contain saponins, were mixed in water for use as a mild soap.[12]:?787? [1] The flowers were used in preparing perfumes and teas.[12]:?787? Symbolism Philadelphus lewisii is the state flower of Idaho. The plant is protected by Idaho state law along with other native wildflowers and shrubs, and it is illegal to collect wild specimens on public property for export, sale, or transport without approval.[13] (contributed by Mary Ann Machi)

Suggested Citation
Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals. [web application]. 2024. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization]. Available: https://www.calflora.org/   (Accessed: 05/29/2024).