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What is this fragrant bush growing in the gold country in California foothills about 2000ft altitude?

flowers scale

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    I’m sure it is not. Mock orange has a round pealed flower and the scent is distinctive. We had one where I used to live. – Joanna Jun 10 '18 at 22:42
  • It does look like a garden escapee though. Certainly not a manzanita (Arctostaphylos). – Wayfaring Stranger Nov 8 '18 at 17:18
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I think it is Philadelphus lewisii, Mock OrangeP. lewisii

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Deutzia scabra, (cultivar might be 'Plena')is a deciduous shrub with somewhat cascading limbs covered in fragrant white (sometimes pink) star shaped flowers. Tolerates almost any soil, but does best when it is moist & rich. It is native to Japan and China, but has been a classic in western gardens for many years.

It is weird if you found this in the middle of a wild area, but in my opinion it looks more like Deutzia than Philadelphus. Western Philadelphus does not have a star shaped flower like Deutzia. It may be an introduced, escapee plant. It has been introduced to most of the East Coast of the US, parts of the mid-west, & Utah, so it may also be introduced but not documented in California.

Missouri Botanical Garden Deutzia scabra

Royal Horticultural Society Deutzia 'Candidissima'

Deutzia scabra 'Plena'

Deutzia scabra Deutzia scabra leaf

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