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HYDRANGEA quercifolia

Image of Hydrangea quercifolia

Felder Rushing

Family

Hydrangeaceae

Botanical Name

HYDRANGEA quercifolia

Plant Common Name

Oakleaf Hydrangea

General Description

It's no wonder that this beautiful large deciduous shrub has quickly gained landscape popularity. A native of the southeastern United States, oakleaf hydrangea has a broad or upright shrubby habit and is revered for outstanding ornamental features that are highlights throughout the year.

In spring, oakleaf hydrangea puts forth large oak-shaped leaves that are deep green with soft, lighter undersides. In autumn, the showy leaves turn striking shades of crimson and bronze-purple. Huge conical flower panicles appear in summer, which are comprised of small inconspicuous fertile flowers and showy four-sepaled sterile blooms that are flattened and papery. Many cultivated varieties have primarily sterile flowers of ivory or rose-pink. As they dry they turn soft tan or brown. The dry flowers persistent into winter above the shrub’s exfoliating copper-brown, cinnamon and tan bark.

Oakleaf hydrangea accepts full sun or partial shade and prefers rich, evenly moist soil with a neutral to slightly acid pH. This fast-growing shrub is at home in summertime heat and humidity. It is useful as a feature, foundation, or screening plant. Dwarf varieties may be grown in large containers. Among its many excellent cultivars are the compact ‘Sike’s Dwarf’ and double-flowered ‘Snowflake.’

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 5

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 9

  • Sunset Zone

    2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    3'-10' / 0.9m - 3.0m

  • Width

    3'-10' / 0.9m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Summer

  • Native To

    Southeastern United States

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink, Rose, Light Green

  • Fruit Color

    Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Dark Green, Burgundy

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Burgundy, Dark Red, Bronze, Orange Red

  • Bark Color

    Tan, Brown, Sienna

  • Bark Color Modifier

    Multi-Color

  • 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

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Exfoliating

  • Usage

    Dried Flower / Everlasting, Cutflower, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Feature Plant, Foundation, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No