Hydrangea: Cee’s Flower of the Day

A  friend’s woodland garden in NZ has lots of different types of hydrangeas.

Where did they originate? Here’s a potted history.


Blue lace-cap variety

Of the 75 species in the genus, most hydrangeas grow naturally in Asian countries like Japan, China, Korea, while there are several species native to the US.


A mop-cap variety

In 1730, North American farmer and plant hunter, John Bartram sent hydrangeas to Europe. He, and his son William, later discovered an oak-leaved native species (Hydrangea Quercifolia) in Georgia.

(Not sure about this one)

Back in the 1690’s, Engelbert Kaempfer a German physician and explorer worked for the Dutch East India company in Japan and had discovered mop-head and lace-cap hydrangeas there. Japan, at that time, was closed to trade with the outside world … so it was more than 150 years later that an English botanist Charles Maries was able to take samples of Hydrangea Macrophylla and Hydrangea Serrate to Europe.


Many modern varieties have been bred and propagated for their gorgeous colours and size.

Sources of info.

Plants of Japan in Illustrated Books and Prints To be Featured in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library At The New York Botanical Garden October 20, 2007–January 13, 2008

Glyn Church, Hydrangea expert interviewed by BUCKWELL, Carol, “Hello Again, Hydrangeas” in New Zealand Gardener, Auckland, Nov 2017.

See Also

CHURCH, Glyn. Hydrangeas. 2001.

Story Twigs the Imagination! by Meg Philp is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License and also Copyright © under Australian Law.


11 thoughts on “Hydrangea: Cee’s Flower of the Day

    • A bit of both. Glad your cards are selling well. It was good to read Glyn’s article again. I’m really missing the Weekly Photo Challenge! Try to make some story connection to the photos I’ve taken. M:-)


    • A bit of both, Lesley. Glyn’s article helped. Want to tie a story to my photos. Miss the Weekly challenge. Good that your cards have been well liked. Meg:-)


  1. Kia Ora Meg.Lovely photos.We have spent the last fortnight pruning thousands of Hydrangeas. It’s good to remind myself how beautiful they are.Regards and best Wishes .Gail


    • Good to hear from you – back from travels. I did enjoy reading that article about Glyn again. I’ve had some lovely rambles in that garden of yours. Thanks and All the Best from me.


  2. I love hydrangeas. The photos are beautiful, Meg. I have several waiting to go into the garden. I keep them in pots on the porch, and when they grow bigger, transplant them into the garden. ‘Tis the season right now, and I am enjoying big splashes of blue and lavender throughout the yard.


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