Hydrangea quercifolia Bartr.

Hydrangea quercifolia plant

Family - Hydrangeaceae

Stems - To 2.5m tall, multiple from base, branching, woody.

Leaves - Opposite, 5-7 lobed, petiolate, margins serrate, tomentose below, sparsely hairy to glabrous above, to +12cm broad, +15cm long.

Hydrangea quercifolia leaf

Hydrangea quercifolia leaf

Hydrangea quercifolia leaf

Inflorescence - Dense, terminal panicle to +30cm long. Peduncle and axis puberulent to tomentose.

Flowers - Outer flowers of inflorescence with 4 white, petaloid sepals (petals absent), sterile, to +2.5cm broad. Inner flowers small, with greenish sepals, fertile. Stamens 8-10, spreading. Filaments greenish-white, to 8mm long, glabrous. Anthers biglobose, whitish, 1.2mm broad.

Hydrangea quercifolia flowersInner flowers.

Flowering - June - August.

Habitat - Cultivated.

Origin - Native to southeastern U.S. (Florida, Georgia, Mississippi).

Other info. - This species is unmistakable while flowering because of the large panicles it produces. There are around 7-8 cultivars on the market. It prefers well drained yet cool soil.
The species name means "Oak-leaved" and the leaves do slightly resemble those of the Red Oak group.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 7-9-00.