Hydrangea quercifolia - Oakleaf Hydrangea
Family: Hydrangeaceae

Hear the scientific name

Hydrangea quercifolia is a four-season shrub with good spring, summer, and autumn bold foliage, striking in bloom and in autumn, but very sparse in winter.

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form Form

-medium shrub

-to 7' tall x 8' wide

-radiating rounded

-composed of several straggly, few-branched stems in a loose arrangement

-medium rate

foliage Foliage

-dark green

-deciduous

-opposite

-overall very broadly ovate to elliptical

-serrated, incised, and ranging from entire to 7-lobed

acuminate-tipped lobes

-to 12" long

-many leaves resemble Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra) foliage

-mixture of green, wine, purple, maroon, and brown, with best color in full sun

-Oct.-Nov.

-in shade, often green then abscised

Flowers
flowers

-showy white or cream sterile flowers, with green true flowers hidden underneath

-sterile flowers gradually changing to purple-pink, bronze, and finally brown

-conical inflorescences terminate most stems and are to 1' long each

-June and persistent

-overall the many inflorescences create a showy, radiating effect of white

Fruit
fruit

-brown capsules

-not showy

-however, the inflorescence with persistent sterile flowers is quite noticeable in winter and persistent into the following summer if not removed

Twig
twig

-young twigs a very pubescent orange-brown

-exfoliating on older stems to reveal orange or cinnamon smooth interior bark

-buds orange-brown and pubescent

trunk Trunk

-light orange-brown

-exfoliating

-many stems radiate from a common point at 45 degree angles

C   U   L   T   U   R   E
 

Culture

-full sun to full shade (best in partial shade)

-prefers moist, well-drained, rich soils

-wet site tolerant

-fruiting panicles normally left on for winter character, but may be pruned off

Hardiness

-zones 5 to 9

Origin

-native to southern regions of the U.S.

U   S   A   G   E
 

Assets

-showy white inflorescences in early summer

-exfoliating orange bark

-wine autumn coloration

-large bold foliage

-wet site tolerant

Liabilities

-need to maintain a non-straggly habit through pruning if a specimen plant

-persistent dead panicles can be an asset or liability

Function

-specimen, border, accent, entranceway, focal point, or foundation shrub

Texture

-bold texture in foliage, flower, and when bare

-open density

S   E   L   E   C   T   I   0   N   S
 

Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species

Alternates

-shrubs that have a radiating habit from the base, early summer white flowers, exfoliating bark, or bold texture

 


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