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Choisya ternata - Kunth.
Common Name Mexican Orange Flower
Family Rutaceae
USDA hardiness 6-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Chalky soils, often near the sea[244].
Range Southern N. America - Mexico.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun


Choisya ternata Mexican Orange Flower

Choisya ternata Mexican Orange Flower
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Choisya ternata is an evergreen Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 7. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Apr to August. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil and can tolerate drought. It can tolerate atmospheric pollution.


Woodland Garden Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Hedge;
Edible Uses
None known
Medicinal Uses
Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known
Other Uses
Hedge;  Hedge.

Plants can be grown as an informal hedge, they also respond well to clipping and so can be grown in a more formal manner[29].
Cultivation details
Requires an open sunny but sheltered position[11]. Plants can be damaged by cold winds[219]. Plants grow equally well whether in full sun or in deep shade[202]. They succeed in most soils[202], but prefer a rather light loam[1, 11]. They require a well-drained soil, tolerating drought once established and atmospheric pollution[184]. A very ornamental plant[1], it usually survives very severe winters in Britain but can be damaged in spells of lesser cold, especially in the New Year[11]. Plants are normally undamaged at temperatures around -10°c but can be defoliated at -15°c[184]. Whole branches have a habit of dying for no apparent reason[182]. The Mexican orange flower is moderately fast growing when young, but it soon slows down with age[202]. The plants are very tolerant of pruning and can be cut right back to the ground if required[202]. Pruning is generally unnecessary for this species, apart from cutting out frost-damaged wood[219]. Some named forms have been selected for their ornamental value[188]. The flowers appear mainly in late spring[188, 219], but plants can produce a few flowers in the autumn[188]. They often also flower intermittently all through the summer[219]. The flowers are borne at the shoot tips[219]. The crushed foliage has a pungent aromatic scent of oranges[202, 245] and the flowers are sweetly fragrant with the powerful aroma of orange blossom[219, 245]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
Seed - sow spring in a greenhouse[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 6 - 8cm long, early July in gentle heat in individual pots in a frame[11, 78]. High percentage[78]. Cuttings of almost ripe wood, 10 - 15cm with a heel, August in a frame. Good percentage. Plant out in spring[78].
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
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Botanical References
Links / References
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Readers comment
Mrs Joan Fournier   Sat May 10 2008
I bought a small cutting of Mexican Orange Blossom at a Church fete about 20 years ago. I planted it next to my back door (partial shade). It grows very vigourously, but has never once flowered in all this time. why is this?
frank joyce   Fri Apr 17 2009
note tendency for C. ternata to produce tight V shaped forks and stems as they thicken to suffer from windrock. Stems at base also have tendency for growing horizontally before they go vertical.I accept that my site is probably too exposed but wonder if this problem is due entirely to that or whether some genetic stock is more prone to it than others.
   Mar 15 2013 12:00AM
Studies in mice have found anxiolytic and anti-depressive effects. See reference: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23132808
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Subject : Choisya ternata  

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