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HYDRANGEA arborescens 'Annabelle'

Image of Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle'

James H. Schutte

Family

Hydrangeaceae

Botanical Name

HYDRANGEA arborescens 'Annabelle'

Plant Common Name

Annabelle Hydrangea, Smooth Hydrangea

General Description

This classic hydrangea is known for its stunning display of huge, rounded, creamy white flower clusters borne on compact, vigorous plants in summer. Much showier than the species, ‘Annabelle’ is a form of smooth hydrangea, a deciduous shrub native to woodland areas of the eastern United States. It forms a dense, rounded clump of large, dark green, oval-shaped leaves which taper to a point and have coarsely serrated edges. The globe-like flower clusters appear on the stem tips in early summer, continuing through midsummer. They are composed of mostly sterile flowers with showy tepals (petal-like sepals) which range from pale green to white as they mature, eventually drying to a pale tan at summer’s end. In areas with long summers and pleasant, mild autumn weather, the foliage may turn a pleasing lemon-yellow before reaching winter dormancy.

Grow smooth hydrangea in full sun to part shade in moist, fertile soil rich in organic matter. Where summers are very warm, provide with continual moisture to avoid browning of foliage. Smooth hydrangea flowers on the current season’s growth, and may be safely cut to the ground in late winter without sacrifice of flowers. This helps to keep the plants compact, and may be necessary if top growth is killed back following a harsh winter. Removal of spent flowers may result in a second bloom display in late summer.

This easy, vigorous shrub may be used as a large, mounded groundcover on moist, shaded hillsides or woodland gardens. ‘Annabelle’ is stunning when grown as a low hedge or grouped as part of a foundation planting, and also makes a lovely border specimen. Its billowy blooms make outstanding fresh cut flowers, and are equally popular for use in dried arrangements.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    3'-5' / 0.9m - 1.5m

  • Width

    5'-6' / 1.5m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, North-Central United States, Central United States, South-Central United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Cutflower, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No