Mock orange is a useful hedge shrub but a declared weed

Mock orange is a controversial shrub. Useful for hedges and screens and adorned with fragrant white flowers, it is also a declared weed in Queensland and NSW.

Mock orange: A controversial beauty

Mock orange can be an excellent choice for hedges or screens. It is a bushy shrub or small tree that grows to a maximum of 2 to 4 metres in height. The mock orange is renowned for its fragrant white five-petalled flowers, which bloom year-round on this evergreen plant. They cluster in groups of up to eight flowers.

However, councils in Queensland and New South Wales have also declared this useful and attractive shrub a weed. This makes it a controversial choice for your hedge or screen.

All about the mock orange

The mock orange is native to southern and south-east Asia and northern Australia. By 1963, its use as an ornamental had led to it invading the environment in south-east Queensland. It is now ranked among the top 200 most invasive plants in the region. Several councils have declared it a weed, including Caboolture Shire, Maroochy Shire, Hervey Bay City and Redland Shire. The mock orange will infest closed forests, open woodlands, riverbank areas, the margins of forests, roadsides and other disturbed sites in the wetter subtropical and tropical parts of Queensland and northern New South Wales.

This plant reproduces by seed. Birds and other animals will spread it by eating the brightly coloured seeds. Dumping your garden waste can also cause the mock orange to spread to places you don’t want it to be.

Help with your mock orange

If you are keen on having a mock orange hedge or screen, proceed with caution. You need to be aware that while it is not a notifiable plant, councils do want to reduce the populations of this one.

Also, please don’t compost or dump your mock orange waste, as this may help to spread what is a declared pest plant that is invading our beautiful native woodlands.

It is important to keep it down to pruning height. If it gets too high, contact us at AllRound for help in reducing it back to a manageable size. We can also safely remove your plants.

You could also consider choosing a native shrub instead for your screens and hedges. Contact us or your local native nursery for advice about suitable species.