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HYDRANGEA arborescens ssp. radiata

Image of Hydrangea arborescens ssp. radiata

Pride of Place Plants, Inc.

Family

Hydrangeaceae

Botanical Name

HYDRANGEA arborescens ssp. radiata

Plant Common Name

Silver-leaved Hydrangea

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Few flowering shrubs are better for woodland gardens. The resilient and beautiful silver-leaved hydrangea is a deciduous shrub native to the forests of the eastern United States. In the wild, it has a more rangy, open habit, but once nurtured in a garden setting it is more compact and densely in habit. This is a natural subspecies of the smooth hydrangea.

Large, oval, coarsely serrated leaves of medium to dark green cover silver-leaved hydrangea. The leaf undersides are powdery white to silver, most noticeable when breezes dance through the plants. The foliage later turns shades of lemon yellow and brown in fall. The yellow color seems to be better when fall temperatures are warmer and the seasonal cool-down is gradual. In summer, dense, rounded flower clusters -- often described as lacecap -- appear at the stem tips. The fertile flowers are small, prolific and occasionally are surrounded by showy, sterile flowers (with white tepals) along the outside of the cluster. This hydrangea is pollinated by the hydrangea sphinx moth (Darapsa versicolor) and is also a food source for the moth larvae.

Grow silver-leaved hydrangea in nearly full sun to bright, dappled shade and fertile, moist, humus-rich soil. Once established, it will tolerate periods of drought, especially if planted in shade, though it always looks better with regular water. This is a fast-growing shrub that flowers on the current season’s growth. If pruning is needed, cut back stems in late winter or spring.

Silver-leaved hydrangea is an outstanding woodland shrub for shaded, naturalistic landscapes. Their flower clusters dry well and will offer outdoor winter interest if left uncut. Cultivar 'Samantha' produces showier, larger white flower clusters.

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

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    4'-8' / 1.2m - 2.4m

  • Width

    5'-6' / 1.5m - 1.8m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Summer, Summer, Late Summer

  • Native To

    North America, 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

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Green, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Dark Green, Yellow Green, Silver

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • 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

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes