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The flower display of the Hydrangea is incredible. Known for their beautiful blooms, the Hydrangea is one of the most loved plants throughout the world.

Native to Japan, this plant has an abundance of different species with a variety of cultivars that are available as ornamental plants here. The most common species include H. macrophylla (mopheads), H. macrophylla normalis (lacecap), H. arborescens (Anabelle), H. paniculta (PG), H. quercifolia (oakleaf).

Most typically, and depending on location, most varieties of Hydrangea bloom mid to late summer into fall. The flowers grow in two inflorescence styles, corymb or panicles and are found at the end of the stems. Most hydrangeas are white but in some species the color can be affected by the soil pH.

Below are some characteristics for each type of the species noted above:

H. macrophylla (mopheads)
The most common colors are pink, blue and purple. These are the only species that display colored blooms after they bloom.
Leaves are approximately 4″-6″ long and 3″-5″ wide. Their edges are coarsely toothed.

mophead hydrangea


H. macrophylla normalis (lacecap)

Lacecaps are identical to mopheads in every way except the shape of their blooms except that the flower display has large showy clusters of flowers surrounding smaller clusters of flowers.

lacecap hydrangea

H. arborescens (Annabelle)
Often identified as the “snowball hydrangea”, the flower cluster appears small and greenish at first but become white and very large.
The leaves are like the mophead but more heart-shaped and thinner, which give it a flopping appearance.

Annabelle and PG tree Hydrangea's

H. paniculta (PG)
Usually identified as both a tree and a shrub.
The blooms are shaped more conical than the others. The blooms start white and turn pink.
Leaves are smaller, thinner and finely toothed.

PG hydrangea

H. quercifolia (oakleaf)
The flower shape is conical to oval shaped. Flower are white and turn pink.
Leaves are large and shaped like an oak tree.

Oakleaf Hydrangea

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