Selections 2010

Hydrangea paniculata

Hydrangea sp


Panicle Hydrangea

Hydrangea paniculata and cultivars

The species, Hydrangea paniculata, is native to China and Japan and was introduced into cultivation in the US in 1861 by von Siebold. In cultivation in New England it typically reaches 8-10’ tall, and requires a few hours of direct sunlight to flower best. Its shade tolerance, long bloom period (July-September) and hardiness (to zone 3) add to its appeal. The clusters of flowers are like overblown cones –6-8” long. The many-branched clusters bear small fertile flowers, and the larger showy sterile blossoms are subtended by showy petal-like sepals. White sterile flowers fade to pink, and ultimately brown, as they age and are held on plants often through the winter. The flowers are borne on new wood so winter damage of buds is not an issue as it is with the mophead, lacecap, and oakleaf hydrangeas, and plants will bloom even after a hard winter pruning.

 



H. paniculata ‘Grandiflora’, (Often called “PeeGee”) the most common cultivar, is an oldfashioned favorite. The large panicles of flowers can be 12- 18” long—especially if pruned to encourage strong flower development. Both multi-stemmed shrubs and those trained into standards are frequently seen in the landscapes of the northeast. The flower panicles on ‘Kyushu’ are not as dense as they are on “PeeGee” giving this cultivar a more delicate air, ‘Praecox’ opens its flowers in July, earlier than other cultivars, widening the blooming window. ‘Tardiva’ closes the window, beginning its bloom in August at the tail end of the season. ‘White Moth’ bears flower clusters that are less conical than others–flattened, almost round clusters. These cultivars are readily available, and can be grown with ease knowing that they are hardy, pest and disease resistant, available and will add a long season of beauty to any garden.