Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Philadelphus Coronarius ‘Aureus’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch


English Dogwood

Philadelphus coronarius 'Aureus' Flower Bud (07/04/2012, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 2.5m

Eventual Spread: 1.5m

Hardiness: 4a – 9a

Family: Hydrangeaceae

Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aureus’ is an upright, medium sized deciduous shrub. Its acid green leaves are simple, ovate with a serrated margin, opposite and up to 14cm long. The bark of the plant is thin and flaky, finely shredding in longitudinal strips. Its fragrant white flowers have four petals and sepals and are up to 4cm in across. Its fruit is a small capsule, containing numerous small seeds.

The species Philadelphus coronarius, commonly known as the Sweet Mock orange or English Dogwood, is native to southeast Europe. Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aureus’ is synonymous with Philadelphus caucasicus ’Aureus’.

The etymological root of the binomial name Philadelphus is named after an ancient Greek king of Egypt, King Ptolemy Philadelphus. Coronarius is derived from the Latin corona ’crown’ or ‘garland’, in reference to the flower arrangement. Aureus is from the Latin meaning ‘golden’, in reference to the leaf color. 

English Dogwood

Philadelphus coronarius 'Aureus' (07/04/2012, London)

The landscape architect may find Philadelphus coronarius ‘Aureus’ useful as a low maintenance medium sized shrub. It is suitable for planting as an informal hedge. It is suitable in maritime locations.

Ecologically, P. coronarius ‘Aureus’ is attractive to bees and pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given P. coronarius ‘Aureus’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

P. coronarius ‘Aureus’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

P. coronarius ‘Aureus’ requires little maintenance. If maintaining as a hedge it should be pruned after flowering.

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