Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Hydrangea Serrata

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Hydrangea serrata (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Hydrangea serrata (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to dappled shade

Flowering period: Summer to early autumn

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.2m

Eventual Spread: 1.2m

Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Hydrangeaceae

Hydrangea serrata is a deciduous shrub with a compact rounded habit. Its dark green leaves are ovate with serrate margins, up to 15cm long and 6cm broad. Its bark is peeling and reveals different coloured juvenile bark. Its white/ pink / pale blue flowers appear as a terminal corymb, . Its roots form stolons which aids its spread.

Hydrangea serrata Flower (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Hydrangea serrata Flower (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Hydrangea serrata, commonly known as Mountain Hydrangea or Tea of Heaven, is native to mountainous regions of Japan and Korea. In its native habitat it grows in moist open forests and thickets.

The etymological root of the binomial name Hydrangea is derived from the Greek hydor meaning ‘water’ and aggos meaning ‘jar’ which refers to the plants cusp shaped fruit. Serrata is derived from the Latin serratus meaning ‘saw’, in reference to the leaf margins of this shrub.

The landscape architect may find Hydrangea serrata useful flowering shrub for shady, including woodlands. Due to its compact nature it may be grown as an informal hedge. If grown in full sun its soil should be kept continuously moist.

Ecologically, Hydrangea serrata flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given numerous varieties of Hydrangea serrata their prestigious Award of Garden Merit.

Hydrangea serrata Leaf (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Hydrangea serrata Leaf (27/07/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Hydrangea serrata prefers moist, rich, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will not tolerate dry soils. In acidic soils its flowers are blueish and in neutral to alkali soils its flowers are pink.

Hydrangea serrata requires little maintenance. Damaged stems may be removed in early spring.

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