Bring Something Wild to Your Landscape

We spent last weekend in western  and northern Idaho. As we drove along the Payette River, I kept seeing bushes covered with large white flowers. They were growing everywhere--along the river, on the hillsides, even clinging to rocky cliffs. This is what I saw...

Do you know what it is?

Being obsessed with plants, I had to stop the car and get a better look. This is what the flowers look like up close...

Does that help?

If not, let me introduce you to the state flower of Idaho, syringa (Philadelphus lewisii), a type of mockorange that blooms in early summer. While syringa is not native to southeastern Idaho, it will grow here just fine. It isn't always available at nurseries, but can usually be found this time of year.

Syringa isn't particularly attractive when its not in bloom, so plant it at the back of the bed or in a corner where it won't be too noticeable when not flowering. When it is in bloom, it is stunning. The bush is almost entirely covered in clouds of white flowers that smell heavenly. A bouquet brought into the house will scent the entire room--and maybe the ones next to it.

So bring a little bit of wild Idaho into your landscape and enjoy it for years to come.


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