Philadelphus lewisii ‘Blizzard’ (blizzard mockorange) is a great shrub for the northern shade garden. It has attractive foliage, and a nice overall shape, not awkward like other mockoranges can be. It grows about 1.5 metres (5 feet) tall, making it easy to fit into a small backyard. It is extra hardy and can tolerate shade.
The white blossoms of Blizzard are beautiful with a light scent and noticeable yellow stamens. This variety blooms for about 3 weeks in June and July in my garden.
The stems are red with medium green leaves. Blizzard mockorange keeps looking good over the winter, because of these decorative stems.
Philadelphus lewisii ‘Blizzard’ was originally selected from one growing in Alberta, and was introduced in Canada. I have found this shrub to be very hardy, surviving over the winter and blooming in the summer, while other mockoranges can be borderline hardy in zone 3. My Philadelphus virginalis has never bloomed in a semi-shade exposure. I’m not sure if this is because of the light exposure, the cold, or an individual quirk.
The P. lewisii ‘Blizzard’ only gets an hour or two of direct sun, and then some dappled or indirect sun the rest of the day. It would probably have more blooms in the sun, but I’m pleased to find a great shrub that flowers in this exposure.
I would recommend the Philadelphus lewisii ‘Blizzard’, if you are looking for a small to medium shrub that tolerates a cold climate, blooms in medium shade, has decorative winter stems, and exquisite white flowers.
You can read about my hardy Hydrangea shrubs, which do well in the shade.