Hydrangea arborescensHydrangea arborescens

  • BOTANICAL NAME: Hydrangea arborescens
  • PRONUNCIATION: hye-DRAN-ja are-bore-EZ-enz
  • COMMON NAME: Smooth Hydrangea
  • FAMILY: Hydrangeaceae
  • NATIVITY: New York to Iowa, south to Florida
  • GROWTH HABIT: Suckering shrub with numerous unbranched stems.
  • SIZE: 3-5' and wider at maturity.
  • HARDINESS: Zone 4 - 9
  • CULTURE: Sun (with sufficient moisture) to partial shade to shade (with reduced flowering). Prefers moist, well-drained soil and is pH adaptable.
  • LANDSCAPE USE: Low suckering shrub with summer flowers. Best cut to the ground in late fall or winter each year. Will flower the same summer.
  • FOLIAGE: Opposite, simple, serrate, ovate to elliptical; 2-8"; sometimes whitish puberulous beneath. Possibly yellow fall color but typically turns brown.
  • BUDS: Imbricate, 4-6 scaled, greenish brown, laterals divergent.
  • BARK: Stems thin, peeling, not ornamental.
  • FLOWER: White in flat clusters 4-6" in summer to fall. Flowers either large petaled sterile flowers or small fertile flowers. Cultivars typically mostly sterile flowers in globose inflorescence up to 12" in diameter.
  • FRUIT: Dry capsule, not showy but inflorescences can be cut and dried.
  • PROPAGATION: Cuttings or seed.
  • PESTS: Generally problem free.
    • 'Abetwo' Incrediball™ - Huge, globose white flower clusters are up to 12 inches in diameter, much more upright than the traditional ‘Annabelle’. June to August.
    • 'Hayes Starburst' - Not quite globe form, yet not quite flat topped, the white 3–4 inch flower clusters sport numerous star-shaped sterile flowers that are dramatically double petaled. June–July.


University of Delaware

University of Delaware Botanic GardensNewark, DE 19716Phone: 302 831-0153