Among the many beautiful plants to be found in the Grand Canyon one of the most conspicuous is the Fendlera. It is a tall, handsome shrub, growing along the upper part of Bright Angel trail, and in May it is covered with charming white blossoms. These flowers measure an inch across, and have cream-white or pale pink petals, narrowing to a claw at the base, and purplish sepals, and they grow in clusters of three or four, mixed with pink buds, on the ends of short branches. The small oblong leaves have three nerves and the wood is tough and gray, with deeply furrowed bark. Though their scent is rather unpleasant, the flowers are lovely and look just like some novel variety of fruit-blossom, but this resemblance is deceptive for they produce nothing but dry pods.
There are a good many kinds of Philadelphus, natives of North America, Asia, and Europe; shrubs, with large, white or cream-colored flowers; the calyx top-shaped, with four or five lobes; the petals four or five; the stamens twenty to forty, inserted on a disk; the ovary inferior, with three to five styles; the capsule top-shaped, containing many oblong seeds. These plants were named in honor of King Ptolemy Philadelphus. They are often called Mock-Orange, because the flowers often resemble orange-blossoms. The commonest name, Syringa, is confusing, because that is the generic name of the Lilac.
Fendlera rupicola. HYDRANGEA FAMILY. Hydrangeaceae.