Shrub to 4 m tall Leaves: opposite, short-stalked, 4 - 8 cm long, egg-shaped to egg-shaped-oblong with a pointed tip and broad wedge-shaped to rounded base, few-toothed, hairy in axils beneath. Flowers: borne five to seven in a terminal inflorescence (raceme), very fragrant, 2.5 - 3.5 cm across, with four sepals, four large white petals, and many stamens. Fruit: a hardened capsule, inversely egg-shaped, four-chambered, many-seeded, persistent. Twigs: brown, hairless or lightly hairy, exfoliating in second year. Buds: with two hairy scales, lacking a terminal bud.
Similar species: Philadelphus floridus and Philadelphus inodorus both have non-fragrant flowers borne solitary or in clusters of three. Philadelphus pubescens differs because it has gray twigs that do not exfoliate with age and a densely hairy lower leaf surface.
Flowering: June to July
Habitat and ecology: Introduced from Europe. In our region, this ornamental plant escaped to a ravine bottom and to oak woods along a shore.
Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native
Etymology: Philadelphus is named after a Greek king, but also means "brotherly love." Coronarius means "used for garlands."
Shrub to 4 m; bark of young twigs brown, exfoliating the second year; lvs short-petioled, ovate or ovate-oblong, 4-8 cm, acuminate, remotely dentate, pubescent in and near the axils of the 3 main veins beneath, otherwise glabrous; fls in terminal racemes of 5-7, 3 cm wide, fragrant; pedicels, hypanthium, and outer side of sep glabrous; 2n=26. Native of Europe, often escaped from cult. in our range. June, July.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.