Blizzard Mockorange: Not an Orange…

Authored by Ryan Falk - Nursery Sales Manager
May 20th, 2024
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As spring arrives the early bloomers like cherries, plums, apricots and forsythia are eager to start the season show off. As spring progresses, the spireas and lilacs bloom and the flowering crabapples put out their brilliant display. These all have strong visual features but when the “Big Spring” show is over and the blooms fade, what else is there to see?

One of the features of the Mockorange is its bloom time. It seems like almost everything else is finished and then comes the Mockorange. We have found the variety ‘Blizzard’ to be the most cold tolerant. The Blizzard Mockorange came out of the Morden Research Program several years ago. Although the Morden Research Station introduced it, it was discovered as a seedling in Beaverlodge Alberta. 

Where does it get the name “Blizzard”? Well, that came out of two significant reasons: first of all it is the hardest Mockorange available, tolerant to Zone 2b. The second reason being the profuse number of flowers, making the bush resemble a blizzard when in full bloom.

Blizzard Mockorange is considered a large shrub similar to standard lilacs growing approximately 6 to 8 feet tall. I need to point out that it’s a heavy bloomer as well. This plant is covered in flowers, and I mean covered! The flowers are 2 inches across, pure white, and bloom in late June. This plant also responds well to pruning just like lilacs: pruning right after the blooms have finished. This is the safest time to insure a good round of flowers for the next season.

Another prominent feature of the Mockorange is its beautiful fragrance, from which it receives its name. The smell is often compared to the scent of citrus flowers. It is also a heavy nectar producer for hummingbirds and pollinator insects. 

Yet another feature that makes this plant attractive is its drought tolerance. Once established, it will do well on a south or west facing wall where it gets a lot of heat and sun. When planning a yard, it is wise to keep a diverse colour scheme as well as a diverse show off time. Fall colour, summer bloom, and showy fruit display in winter: all of these factor in. A larger shrub does not fit well into foundation planting but it does display well between windows or up against a bare wall. It also works very well as a backdrop plant near the fence. It is also soil adaptable regarding pH and sand or clay, but will not perform well in soggy spots. There isn’t a single plant that has everything going for it. The fall color of Blizzard Mockorange is a simple yellow/green but it more than makes up for its lack of fall luster with its midsummer blooms and other features. 

In the end it is an excellent shrub and a unique addition for any yard.

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