Mock orange, Philadelphus lewisii (a.k.a. syringa)---showy and aromatic.
In late May the mock orange along Sussman Way was loaded with small white buds.
In the first few weeks of June these tall shrubs will burst into bloom.
The plant, a member of the hydrangea family, is very adaptable. According to Pojar (page 96) it grows in habitats “from open forests and forest edges on moist rich sites to open brush area on dry, rock soils.” The bushes are more floriferous east of the Cascade, and is “glorious along the rocky walls of Yakima Canyon” (Kruckeberg, p. 125).
The wood is strong, and doesn’t crack or warp. Again according to Pojar, the Interior Salish used it for making implements, and on the coast the Saanich used it for bows and arrows, and the Lummi for combs, netting shuttles, and now knitting needles.
We should plant more of this on the Harrison Ridge Greenbelt!