July 2003: Mock Orange

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Mock Orange: July Plant of the Month at Tree Frog Farm

Mock OrangeMock Orange (Philadelphus lewisii) is is a beautiful deciduous shrub now blooming here at Tree Frog Farm. Their showy white flowers and sweet fragrance whiffing through the air attracts our attention as if to say, “Look at me! Look at me!”

Our favorite mock orange is just outside our front door and greets us with a reminder to pause and enjoy the smell — Ah, breathe! In their natural setting of dry to moist, open sites and forest edges mock orange can grow 10 feet high and wide. Ours is more than half that size as it hugs Douglas fir and bows westerly toward Orcas Island. The Rufous hummingbirds are now buzzing in to feed from the flowers, and Swallowtail butterflies will casually float by for a visit. Ground feeding birds love to perch in the thick branches and eat the seeds in the fall.

Mock orange can also be grown as an informal hedge or garden back drop. It grows quickly and is good for soil erosion control too. With so many beautiful and practical qualities native mock-orange is a must addition to any garden.

Mock Orange Flower Essence

I waited with anticipation for two years for our newly planted mock orange bush to bloom. Last year as I was planning to attend my first shamanic journeying class, I connected with the plant spirit (deva) of mock orange to bring through the message. She “speaks”, I “listen” and try my best to translate the impressions, body sensations and phrases that I get into a meaningful definition. What eventually unfolded was:

Dancing, chanting, singing, ritual, moontime, darktime, noontime, sacred space. Gifts from white rhythm medicine woman. Draws out emotional residue and clears your cells.

I AM rhythmic clearing through release of suppressed emotional residue in your cells.

At first I was stumped by this wording, then it occurred to me that, yes, cellular clearing can happen during deep ritual. However, going into deep ritual is not always possible in our daily lives. Mock orange provides this gift to us and continues to be a wonderful ally for me and my clients. It would like to be your ally, too.