Shrub to about 2 m tall. Leaves ovate, to about 8 cm long, those at the base of the flower clusters stalkless; margins with quite large teeth; hairs on the upper surface with 3-5 rays, those below 4-6-rayed. Flower clusters broadly ovate in outline. Flowers to about 1.5 cm wide; summer. Stamen filaments without teeth on the filament wings. Styles mostly 3.
Syn. D. sieboldiana Maxim.
Sometimes confused with D. crenata but ray hair number different.
Source: (2002). Hydrangeaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 3. Flowering plants. Dicotyledons. Part 2. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.
Flowers double, pure white. Int. Froebel, c.1867. D. gracilis Siebold &Zucc. from Japan is similar, with white, fragrant flowers in elongated clusters in spring to summer, but with more finely toothed leaf margins and 5 styles.