Much as in St. Malo, France, Hortensia ~ Hydrangea mycrophylla, thrives in Vancouver, USA. Over the years, I’ve planted many into my gardens. They adapt well and soon reward me with beautiful blossoms from summer to fall.
Native to southern and eastern Asia, and North and South America, hydrangea flowers are carried in bunches at the ends of woody, then green stems. Careful pruning is essential to maintain an abundant future crop of mopheads!
During a blooming season, one plant may host blossoms varying from cream to blue – pink to violet. It is possible to influence the color of most hydrangea with acid or alkaline. I just like to let the plants put on their show!
Each individual hydrangea flower is relatively small with a bud in the center. These sterile flowers are technically sepals, without reproductive structures or pollen.
Most cultivated hydrangea west of the Mississippi River (USA) are sterile, thus not helpful to pollinators. However, they are beautiful in the gardens, and I compensate with many other flowers to attract and satisfy bees and butterflies.
Here are some close-ups of the tiny anthers and pistol of a fertile hydrangea flower, surrounded in the lush color of the whole blossom.
On doing my research, I learned the leaves, roots and flowers of hydrangea are antimalarial, antitussive and diuretic. They may even be a more potent antimalarial than quinine. Who knew?!
Here’s to year two of Lens-Artists Photo Challenge. Cheers to Patty, Tina, Amy and Leya!