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Tree Campus: Mock Orange

Tree Campus SCC is a multi-year and interdisciplinary college initiative to document, map, and celebrate the incredible diversity of trees planted on the campus. With over 200 species, Shoreline Community College is an arboreal paradise that deserves to b


Mock Orange

Philadelphus (HYDRANGEACEAE)



North and Central America, Asia, SE Europe



"Lewis' mock orange is a moderately important winter forage species for deer and elk in the northern Rocky Mountains. In southern British Columbia, Lewis' mock orange is of moderate importance as a winter forage species for white-tailed deer and Rocky Mountain elk, and of low importance to other wild ungulates. In Montana, a 1957 study based on rumen samples showed that Lewis' mock orange constituted 2 percent of mule deer diets in the winter and a trace in the summer. In northern Idaho, use by white-tailed deer was moderate, although a few individual plants were browsed heavily. Lewis' mock orange seeds are eaten by quail and squirrels.

Lewis' mock orange occurs in dense shrub habitats which probably provide good cover for wildlife. In north-central Washington, Lewis' mock orange occurs in a riparian cover type which is preferred in both summer and winter by mule deer for thermal and security cover." [1]


Equity: Cultural and Historical Significance

"Native Americans used the strong, hard branches of Lewis' mock orange for bows, arrows, combs, tobacco pipes, cradles, and netting shuttles . Lewis' mock orange is cultivated as an ornamental, but Philadelphus coronarius, a European species, is the most commonly grown mock orange in the Northwest. Lewis' mock orange is the Idaho state flower; it is illegal to collect Lewis' mock orange in Idaho for export or sale." [1]



"Lewis' mock orange is of minor importance as a forage species for livestock. Sampson considered it poor to useless browse for cattle and horses. However, Shaw reports that in riparian areas in eastern Oregon, Lewis' mock orange is heavily browsed in areas accessible to cattle." [1]



[1] Carey, Jennifer H. 1995. Philadelphus lewisii. In: Fire Effects Information System, . U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available:

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