Monday, September 14, 2015


Each time I see a Philadelphus shrub such as the one in the picture above I think of my dad, for he was the one who pointed out the plant and told me its name. This is one of those ‘summer-breeze, long sun-shiny days, tea-in-the-garden’ kind of plant for me.

In the family Hydrangaceae, Philadelphus is a genus of about 60 species of shrubs from 1 to 6 m tall, native to Southeast Europe, North America, Central America and Asia. Philadelphus coronarius is from Southern Europe. It is a deciduous shrub. The blooms are abundant and very fragrant. P. coronarius was the only species grown in gardens for a long time.

Philadelphus is named after an ancient Greek king of Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphus. The specific epithet coronarius means "used for garlands".

Sometimes misleadingly the name Syringa for Lilac (in the family Oleaceae) is used for Philadelphus. “The connection of the two shrubs lies in their introduction from Ottoman gardens to European ones, effected at the same time by the Holy Roman Emperor’s ambassador to the Sublime Porte (Ottoman government) Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, who returned to Vienna in 1562” (

Indeed, Philadelphus was always in the company of people in high places.


  1. I think I've been seeing this plant everywhere. It's hard for me to tell... I have to get better at recognising leaf shapes. But it must be this one, because I can smell it!
    Love the idea of "summer-breeze, long sun-shiny days, tea-in-the-garden" xox

  2. Isn't it wonderful how one plant can bring to mind such variety of memory sketches?