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Hydrangea L.

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassRosidaeRoses, legumes, proteas, dogwoods, hydrangeas, mistletoes, euphorbias, grapes, many more
OrderRosalesRose family and eight others
FamilyHydrangeaceaeHydrangea family
GenusHydrangeaFrom Greek hydro, “water,” and angeion, “vessel”

About plant names...

Hydrangeas are hardy shrubs or sometimes small trees that are native to many areas of the world. Their large, copious, beautiful flowerheads make them popular for foundation plantings, and many cultivated varieties exist. Hydrangea macrophylla flowers have a pigment whose color depends on soil acidity, may be white, blue, purple, or pink.

Online References:

Hydrangeas! Hydrangeas!

The United States National Arboretum

The American Hydrangea Society

The University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program GreenShare Factsheets


Hydrangea L.

(Hydrangea) · 8/8/2010 · Rod and Ellen’s, Westford, Mass­a­chu­setts Species not yet identified

Here are a few of the many varieties of hydrangeas:

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’

Hydrangea arborescens ‘Dardom’

Hydrangea macrophylla
Common Name

wild hydrangea

smooth hydrangea

blue hydrangea
Plant Shrubs that reach 3-5' (91-152 cm) in height. Shrubs are 3-5' (91-152 cm) high. Rounded shrub 3-6' (91-182 cm) around. Branches emerge from the ground and rarely branch.
Flowers Large white flowerheads up to 8-12" (20-30 cm) across. Dome-shaped corymbs 6-10" (15-25 cm) around contain both sterile and mostly fertile flowers. Large, ball-shaped clusters, which may be white or cream-colored; or shades of pink or blue ranging from pale in natural varieties to bright in cultivated varieties.
Leaves Dark green, wrinkled, 8-12" (20-30 cm) across. Elliptical, serrated, 3-8" (7.6-20 cm) long, and dark green. Opposite, 4-8" (10-20 cm) × 3-6" (7.6-15 cm), crinkly, with serrated leaf margins.
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 3-9

USDA Zones: 4-9

USDA Zones: 6-10
Habitats   Wooded slopes, bases of hills, shaded banks, ravines  
Type Cultivar Cultivar Wild


Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’

Hydrangea paniculata ‘Kyushu’

Hydrangea quercifolia
Common Name

peegee hydrangea

panicled hydrangea

oak leaved hydrangea
Plant These shrubs reach heights of 15-25' (4.6-7.6 m), and somewhat less in diameter, often taking the form of a small tree. These small trees reach heights of 10-30' (3-9.1 m). Oakleaf hydrangea favors calcium-bearing soils and grows in open hardwood forests. Shrubs are up to 8' (2.4 m) tall, and about the same around. Bark is cinnamon-colored and felt-like, peeling when older.
Flowers White or pink, more cone-shaped than ball-shaped, in clusters up to 10" (25 cm) long and 8" (20 cm) around. They bloom from July to September. Blooms are white or pink, cone-shaped, in clusters up to 10" (25 cm) long and 8" (20 cm) around. They bloom from July to September. Large (up to 12" (30 cm)) flower clusters contain many cream-colored, white or pinkish flowers. Individual flowers are about 1" (2.5 cm) around.
Leaves Opposite, roughly oval shaped, with serrated edges, 2-5" (5-12 cm) long. Leaves are opposite, roughly oval shaped, with serrated edges, 2-5" (5-12 cm) long. Dark green, opposite, lobed like oak leaves, longer than they are wide, up to 12" (30 cm) long. In the fall, the leaves are attractively colored, including a deep red-violet.
Fruit     Small brown capsules.
Range/ Zones

USDA Zones: 3-8

USDA Zones: 4-9

USDA Zones: 5-9
Habitats     Hardwood forest understories, in calcium-bearing soil.
Type Cultivar Cultivar Wild



Hydrangea description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Sep 2020.

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