Murraya paniculata (syn. Murraya exotica) and other Murraya species & cultivars
Common names: Mock orange, Orange Jessamine, Orange Jasmine
Murraya paniculata is one of the most popular hedging plants around South East Queensland. Its vigorous nature make it suitable for large formal, semi-formal or informal hedges. For short formal hedges under 1.5 m, consider slower growing and more densely foliaged alternatives.
However, there is now at least one dwarf cultivar of Murraya on the market which may prove suitable for miniature hedges.
Perfumed creamy flowers are also a feature if not removed by hedging treatments. The name Mock Orange comes from their similarity to orange blossom, and indeed Murraya is the same family as Citrus. There is also a citrusy aroma when the leaves are crushed, and small red fruits follow the flowers.
The regular species can be trained as a small tree.
Murraya paniculata (also known as M. ovatifoliolata or M paniculata var. ovatifoliolata) is a native of Australia, but the plants commonly in cultivation probably originated in Asia (Reference: Wrigley J.W. and Fagg, M. 1998 Australian native Plants (4th Ed) Reed New Holland, Sydney p423). Murraya exotica is usually referred to as a synonym of M. paniculata, although some consider there to be two separate species. Wrigley and Fagg refer to the cultivated Murraya as M. exotica..
A drawback of the commonly grown exotic Murraya is that it is considered an environmental weed in many districts. (e.g Lismore City Council.) While there may be at least one strain of vegetatively propagated Murraya with reduced fruiting (see Grow Me Instead - Mock Orange Murraya paniculata (cutting grown form)), it is difficult for the consumer to make an informed choice unless these plants are clearly identified in the marketplace. If anyone has any information about sterile named cultivars of Murraya paniculata, if they exist, please get in touch. Alternatives such as Lilly Pillies are another option for hedging for those concerned about the weed potential of Murraya.
Other plants known as "Mock Orange" include Choisya ternata and Philadelphus species, but are less suitable for subtropical climates.