5. Philadelphus microphyllus A. Gray, Mem. Amer. Acad. Arts, n. s. 4: 54. 1849.
Small-leaf mock orange Small-leaf mock orange
Shrubs, 5–12(–20) dm. Stems copper to reddish brown, stiffly to loosely branched, appressed villous-sericeous, ± strigose, hairs often red-gland based, or glabrous; epidermis soon or tardily deciduous exposing cortex and striate bundle caps; bark grayish; internodes (0.1–)1–2.5(–6) cm; short-shoot spurs not present; axillary buds hidden in pouches. Leaves: petiole 1–2(–4) mm; blade greenish or whitish abaxially, green adaxially, linear-lanceolate, narrowly ovate to ovate, (0.5–)0.8–3(–5.5) × (0.2–)0.3–1.3(–3.3) cm, herbaceous to coriaceous, margins usually entire, rarely sparsely serrulate, plane or revolute upon drying, abaxial surface short sericeous-strigose, or sericeous-villous with longer hairs, or with ascending to erect hairs, sometimes with dense to moderate understory of slender curled hairs, adaxial surface glabrous, glabrate, ± sericeous-strigose, villous, or with erect hairs. Inflorescences usually solitary flowers, sometimes 3–5-flowered cymes. Pedicels 0.5–3 mm. Flowers: hypanthium glabrous, sericeous-strigose basally or throughout, or weakly to densely villous to densely lanate with mixed strigose and villous vestiture, with understory of slender curled hairs; sepals ovate to lanceolate, (2.5–)4–8.5(–10) × (2.5–)3–4.3(–5) mm, apex acute to acuminate-caudate, abaxial surface glabrous, sericeous-strigose, or weakly to densely villous to densely lanate with mixed strigose and villous vestiture, with understory of slender curled hairs, adaxial surface glabrous except villous along distal margins; petals white [marked purple near base], oblong-obovate to broadly ovate, (5.8–)7–16(–21) × (5.3–)6–11(–15) mm, margins entire or erose-undulate, apex ± acute, rounded, or notched; stamens 26–64; filaments often connivent-connate in irregular clusters in proximal 0.5–4 mm, 1.8–8 mm, of unequal length, glabrous; anthers yellowish, 0.7–1.2 mm; styles 4, connate proximally, cylindric, 2.5–5.5(–7) mm, lobes sometimes connate proximally in pairs, 0.5–2.5 mm; stigmatic surfaces extending from adaxial lobes onto abaxial lobes and down to cylindric style. Capsules oblong-globose or globose-turbinate, (3.6–)5–8(–9.5) × (3.5–)4–7(–9.5) mm, sepals persisting at equator or more distally, capsule distal surface often impressed in 4(–8) radiating lines. Seeds short caudate distally, 1.5–2.5 mm.
Varieties 5 (4 in the flora): sw United States, Mexico.
Within Philadelphus microphyllus as treated here, P. A. Rydberg (1905) recognized nine species, C. L. Hitchcock (1943) one species with eight subspecies, and Hu S. Y. (1954–1956) 11 species and four varieties, based on vestiture, leaf size and shape, and floral differences. Four varieties are recognized here within the flora area, with a fifth restricted to Mexico and without the needed varietal combination.
Two characters are particularly important in distinguishing the varieties of Philadelphus microphyllus: adaxial leaf blade cuticle thickness and vestiture. Adaxial leaf blade cuticles can be thin and papillate, closely reflecting the adaxial epidermis cells (as seen at 30–40\x) or can be thick and smooth. Leaves with thin cuticles dry brown due to brownish granules developing in the epidermis; those with thick cuticles dry gray-green, olive green, or yellowish green without granules in the epidermis cells. Sometimes both types occur in a leaf in either a tight or bold mosaic pattern or the leaf blade may be papillate and brown only along its margins.
Vestiture is mostly sericeous-strigose on leaves, stems, hypanthia, and sepals. The appressed hairs can be slender, short or long (0.2–1.5 mm), appressed, loosely appressed, ascending, or erect. The larger hairs have slender bases that allow them to be strictly appressed, but in some taxa, the base (upon drying) lifts and twists the hair upward, leaving the hairs oriented in many different directions; we refer to this condition as chaotic vestiture. In more densely vestitured plants, very slender, elongate, wavy-curved hairs form an understory beneath the more or less dense sericeous-strigose vestiture.