Greek hydor — water, aggeion — vessel, referring to the cup-shaped fruit.
Deciduous or evergreen shrubs, small trees or climbers. Leaves mostly ovate, toothed, opposite or in 3s. Flowers regular. Fertile flowers mostly bisexual, clustered. Sepals 4 or 5, small and inconspicuous. Petals 4-5, white, pink or blue. Stamens mostly 8 or 10. Large sterile flowers sometimes occur on the outside of the flower clusters. Ovary inferior or half-inferior with 2-5 chambers. Fruit a many-seeded capsule.
Peter Schauble, David Townsend &Roger Spencer
Grown mainly for the large flower heads that make colourful cut flowers, especially in autumn.
About 110 species from the Himalaya, China and Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, N and S America.
Species by seed and cuttings, cultivars by hardwood cuttings, new leaf bud cuttings, or layers.
The roots and leaves of several species are poisonous and/or have medicinal properties.
SA: Brian Schultz, The Hydrangea Farm, Nairne. VIC: David Townsend of Townsend's Gardeners' Nsy, Olinda, has a large collection of species and cultivars; Peter Schauble has a collection at Prion Rd, Mt Dandenong; George Tindale Memorial Gardens, Sherbrooke, holds an OPCAA collection; Warner's Nsy, Burwood.A live collection of Hydrangea species and cultivars was held at the Royal Bot. Gds, Melbourne, in the 1940s. In the Herbarium there is a consignment of specimens sent by Michael Haworth-Booth from Surrey, UK, in February 1948 (similar collections were sent to the Royal Bot. Gds, Kew, and the Royal Horticultural Society,Wisley); it has been retained at Melbourne as a separate collection. Mr Simpson of Oliver's Hill Nsy, Frankston (now closed), imported about 50 cultivars from France, probably in the 1960s or 70s, and many of these were later distributed to other nurseries. TAS: Woodbank Nsy, Kingston.
McClintock (1957). Popular: Haworth-Booth (1976), Mallet &Trier (1992-4, 2 vols), Rothera &Lawson-Hall (1995).
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.