Thursday, February 26, 2009


The Oakleaf Hydrangea(Hydrangea Quercifolia) is truly a plant for all seasons. Native to portions of the southeastern United States it gets it's common name from the almost red oak like leaves that grace its branches.. It is a beautiful shrub at anytime of the year. I first noticed the Oakleaf Hydrangea growing up on my families nursery. I have always had a fondness for plants that shine in the fall and winter, and we need more of that to get us through some of those drab days. With the best burgundy fall color of arguably any shrub on its distinctive leaves it gives a boldness that lasts long into winter. Another winter interest of the plant which is special to me is the peeling bark of older plants that is reminds one of of River Birch. Not a slack for blooms either they are a glorious white and on some plants and cultivars nearly a foot long. And, for those who love to dry flowers this is one of the best. It is an easy plant to grow although in most locations it needs some shade especially in the south. It is cultivated well north of its native range these days and is a great ambassador of southern hospitality. While I love its fall and winter appeal the picture is of a specimen I planted this past year while in bloom. One interesting herbal curiosity of the plant is that it along with some of its cousins is that its roots contain compounds that help treat kidney stones!This I have not tried but must remember the next time I am rolling on the ground in agony from one of those things. It seems this part of North Carolina is famous for the pain and torture kidney stones can inflict. But whatever time of year the Oakleaf Hydrangea will grace your landscape with class and interest.

1 comment:

  1. Hilarious! I too have had kidney stones so am no fan of them.

    I bought a hydrangea from--a local nursery who I'll keep nameless cause the plant ID is off a tad----and it was labeled Limelight--but it sure looks like it's leaning toward oak leaf. Something is up with that.