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|Did you know? Hydrangea Day is celebrated on the 5th of January every year.|
Of all the plants... the Endless Summer (Hydrangea macrophylla) has generated the most volcanic enthusiasm - Michael Dirr, the author of 'Manual of Woody Landscape Plants'.
Hydrangeas are one of the most beautiful flowers. Inflorescence in the genus Hydrangea comes in groups. Hydrangea has long been a popular flowering shrub. The flowers are considered by many as Grandmother's old-time flower.
Hydrangea is a genus of about 100 species of flowering plants native to southern and eastern Asia (from Japan to China, the Himalaya and Indonesia) and North and South America. Hydrangeas produce flowers from early spring to late autumn. The flowers of Hydrangea are carried in bunches, at the ends of the stems. Each individual Hydrangea flower is relatively small. However, the display of color is enhanced by a ring of modified bracts around each flower.
In most species of Hydrangea the flowers are white, but in some species, can be blue, red, pink, or purple. In Hydrangea species the exact color often depends upon the acidity or alkalinity of the soil. Acidic soils produce blue flowers, neutral soils produce pale cream petals, and alkaline soils result in pink or purple.
Mountain Hydrangeasbecause they originate in the mountainous areas on the islands of Japan. These hydrangeas are smaller in stature and have smaller leaves and delicate lacecap flowers.
There are 3 types of flower blooms in Hydrangea. They are -
Mophead - Globe shaped flower cluster, the most commonly recognized form of Hydrangea bloom.
Panicle - Long, somewhat cone-shaped flower cluster (particularly in Oakleaf Hydrangeas).
Lacecap - Flattened cluster of what appear to be tiny, immature buds surrounded at the edges by typical 4 to 5 petal flowers.
Further, there are many varieties of Hydrangeas. Some of the most popular varieties are tabulated below -
|Common Names||Scientific Names||Uses|
|Hydrangea macrophylla||The leaves, roots and flowers are antimalarial, antitussive and diuretic. They are said to be a more potent antimalarial than quinine.|
|Hydrangea quercifolia||Can be used as a specimen plant where space is adequate, or as an untrimmed hedge or background where screening is desired.|
|Peegee hydrangea||Hydrangea paniculata Grandiflora||The flowers contain up to 4.06% rutin, which makes them useful for reducing the incidence of recurrent haemorrhages associated with increased capillary fragility, particularly in hypertension.|
|Smooth Hydrangea||Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle||The flowers are sweetly scented.|
|Climbing Hydrangea||Hydrangea anomala petiolaris||A boiled concoction of the leaves is used to make a syrup. The sweet sap is used as a drink.|
Dr. Michael A. Dirr is a professor at the Department of Horticulture, University of Georgia. His lifelong passion for horticulture has positively influenced a generation of students, gardeners, nursery- men, and professional horticulturists. Dirr's "Manual of Woody Landscape Plants" is the leading horticultural text and reference work, and, along with his Reference "Manual of Woody Plant Propagation", has become the "Bible" for the landscape and nursery industry.
He is popularly known as the Hydrangea Guru for his exceptionally great research on Hydrangeas. Dirr's Plant Introduction Program has con- tributed over 50 new plant introductions to the Green Industry. He developed Lady in Red, a variety of Hydrangea macrophylla. It is the first patented release from the University's "Continued Adventures in Plant Improvement in the Department of Horticulture and Center for Applied Nursery Research" program, headed by Dr. Dirr.