Choisya ternata

Mexican orange blossom


Choisya ternata is a handsome evergreen medium-sized shrub of rounded habit bearing large compound leathery glossy green leaves divided into three segments. From the tips of the newest growth, throughout spring and autumn, it will produce dense clusters of highly scented pure white flowers reminiscent of orange blossom – hence the common name of Mexican Orange Blossom. Few shrubs are as undemanding and tolerant of neglect, even taking harsh pruning in their stride if they outgrow the allotted space.


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Origin: Mexico
Genus: Choisya
Species / Cultivar: ternata
Common Name: Mexican orange blossom
Synonym: Choisya grandiflora

Plant Biography

Choisya ternata, commonly known as Mexican orange blossom, originates from Mexico and its European discovery can be traced to the Scottish botanist David Douglas in the early 19th century. The plant belongs to the Rutaceae family and is highly regarded for its aromatic, citrus-scented foliage and fragrant white flowers. Named after Swiss botanist Jacques Denys Choisy, Choisya ternata has since become a beloved ornamental shrub in gardens worldwide due to its hardiness, attractive appearance, and delightful aroma.

Choisya ternata
Soil: Well drained
Soil that does not show much signs of moisture, either visibly or when handled.
Growth Rate: Medium
Expect to see moderate growth during growing season.
Water Requirement: Low
Will grow in a drier position and is unlikely to need regular watering once established.
Maintenance: Low
Minimal skill or input needed beyond the basics, a very independent plant.
Situation: Full Sun
Wants direct, unfiltered sunlight most of the day, such as a south facing position.
Eventual Height: 1.5-2.5m
The plant's ultimate height in typical growing conditions.
Eventual Spread: 1.5-2.5m
The plant's ultimate spread in typical growing conditions.
Hardiness: Hardy
Survives unprotected in an average winter. May need protection in extreme long frosts.
Habit: Evergreen
Always in leaf throughout the year. It won't lose all its leaves at any one time.
Care & Size Guidance

Care & Size Guidance

Choisya ternata, the Mexican orange blossom, thrives in well-drained soil and prefers full sun to partial shade, though it adapts well to various conditions. Regular watering during its establishment period is beneficial, after which it becomes moderately drought-tolerant. Pruning, if needed, is best performed after flowering to maintain its shape.

This evergreen shrub typically reaches a height and spread of 1.5 to 2.5 metres, forming a dense, rounded shape. Its versatility makes it suitable for hedging, borders, or as a specimen plant, offering aromatic foliage and clusters of fragrant white flowers that bloom in spring and often again in autumn.



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