...and I adore it.
|H arborescens has a lace cap look with large sterile flowers
It grows wild on the wooded hillsides near our house and I was lucky to have some given to me. It's been in my garden for about 30 years and although, it can colonize, it hasn't gotten out of hand at all. It likes a moister soil than most sites in my garden, so I planted it along the sidewalk to the front porch where there is enough of a slope to give it the good drainage it needs and the faucet is close enough to give it big gulp of water during our dry summers.
Most of you know I garden for wildlife, so the wildlife value of plants I bring into the garden are important. Wild hydrangeas have pretty good wildlife value: they're pollinated by many species of native bees and beetles and it's a host plant for two moths, Darapsa versicolor/Hydrangea Sphinx Moth and Olethreutes ferriferana/Hydrangea leaf-tier moth.
About a decade ago I started adding H arborecens cultivars. I am particular about what I add to my garden and these cultivar are not only good looking, they also have good wildlife value.
|H arborescens 'White Dome'
|The flowers are a mixture of sterile and fertile flowers
|H arborescens 'Hayes Starburst' with double sterile flowers and lots of fertile ones
|bees and other pollinators visit this beauty
|Invincibelle® Spirit II is the most colorful.
Smooth hydrangea or wild hydrangea, which ever name you prefer, are delightful plants for every garden. The green flower buds and creamy white flowers are stellar.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.