One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mock orange.
- ‘There are drifts of feverfew, clouds of philadelphus, grasses whispering in the breeze, and everywhere the perfume of 1,000 blossoms keeping the countryside alive in the heart of London.’
- ‘Mock orange, or philadelphus, prefers an organically enriched, moist, well-draining soil and filtered sun.’
- ‘It's kind of, well, just a slabbed area at the moment, but I have a plan to make it into a small courtyard garden, in green and white. I see white clematis, hostas, a scented philadelphus, pots of white lilies, maybe a white climbing rose.’
Late 18th century: modern Latin (adopted by Linnaeus as a genus name), from Greek philadelphos ‘loving one's brother’.
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