Deciduous, Shrubs, Trees
Big, bold leaves and large clusters of long-lasting flowers in white, pink, red, or blue. Summer and fall bloom. Flower clusters may contain sterile flowers (conspicuous, with large, petal-like sepals) or fertile flowers (small, starry petaled); or they may feature a cluster of small fertile flowers surrounded by a ring of big sterile ones (these are called lacecap hydrangeas). Sterile flowers last for a long time (often holding up for months), gradually fading in color.
Shrub, native to Japan and China. Upright, spreading growth to 10–20 ft. tall and wide or larger. Medium to dark green leaves are oval and pointed, 3–6 in. long. Flowers begin as elongated clusters of greenish white buds in early summer, opening to 4–8-in.-long cones of white sterile flowers hiding tiny fertile flowers within. Blooms age to tawny pink, giving a show that lasts for months; flower spikes can be removed in late fall to neaten a plant’s appearance. Prune to shape in late dormant season.
‘Grandiflora’. An old, well-known variety, with 1 1/2-ft. flower clusters.
‘Limelight’. Chartreuse blooms in summer, chartreuse and pink flowers in fall.
‘Little Lime’. Has flowers like ‘Limelight’, but the whole plant is scaled down to 3–5 ft. tall.
‘Quick Fire’. Deep pink flowers.
‘Tardiva’. Similar to ‘Grandiflora’ but blooms later, in early and midautumn.
‘Unique’. Big flower clusters, to 16 in. long and 10 in. wide.
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