help with a hydrangea ID?

Jenny(5a NY)April 11, 2014

Hi! I'm trying to help a friend identify her yard full of hydrangeas, via photos taken last summer. It's been ten years since I spent any time flower gardening, so my ID-ing skills are horrible but I promised to supply the computer/forum savvyness that she needs help with. :)

One photo is attached to this post, but she has quite a few more needing their identities confirmed (about 10-12). Several bushes were not in flower; anyone think those photos even be worth asking about? Before posting anything else, I also wanted to make sure that I'm choosing the right forum. Wasn't sure whether the Hydrangea forum or the "Name that Plant!" forum was more appropriate.

Thanks in advance! :)


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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Don't feel bad. I too have a hard time, especially without flowers. Hee hee hee! :o)

That picture reminds of Annabelle.

Regarding posting in those two forums, I would post in both forums and mention that you are doing so.

Note that shrubs without flowers will be very difficult -not impossible- to Id. There may be other traits however that could help Id so, try posting anyways to see what happens.

Even with plants that have flowers, expect some difficulty as flowers can sometimes be very similar. But try anyway. For example, you may get a comment saying that Picture "A" looks like a paniculata instead of a Paniculata PeeGee. So it may get you closer to an answer.


    Bookmark   April 11, 2014 at 1:54AM
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Jenny(5a NY)

Thanks, Luis! I'll do as you recommend. I'm wishing the photos were a little better... (blurry + drought stricken is a bad combo!) I really have very little hope that particular cultivar names could be pinned down from most of the pictures, but we'll take any help we can get. :)

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 12:52AM
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Definitely an Annabelle, but an old garden type. The newer ones
Iike Incrediball have a big round head.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2014 at 8:16PM
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vasue(7A Charlottesville)

Could that be a plant ID tag - the shiny white square near the center of the photo?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 11:07AM
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'Annabelle' is cultivar name, not a type of hydrangea. The plant in question is a type of Hydrangea arborescens, perhaps just the species or maybe the cultivars 'Annabelle' or 'Grandiflora'. I'm leaning a bit towards the Grandiflora' as it seems to have more of a greenish tint than 'Annabelle' does.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 6:56PM
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I thought 'Grandiflora' was a paniculata? Or is there a arborescens cultivar called 'Grandiflora' as well?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 7:09PM
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Never mind. I finally found a site that showed an arborescens named 'Grandiflora'. Good to know.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2014 at 7:20PM
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Jenny(5a NY)

Thanks, everyone! I knew with the number of cultivar possibilities in existence, it is definitely a stretch to get anything beyond a species name for most of the photos. I found a book online (though a little outdated, published in '04 - 'Encyclopedia of Hydrangeas,' by van Gelderen & van Gelderen) which looks as though it may help us in identifying cultivars, and I plan on getting that and then hopefully spending some time at my friend's garden once it's in flower later this summer.

My friend did have plant ID tags marking some of her bushes many years ago, but I'm pretty sure most of the names have rubbed off by now. In fact, she and I had put together a labeled plant map of her whole yard about ten years ago, and she says she's updated it a few times. However, she's also done a fair amount of moving plants around, and didn't keep the map strictly updated.

She sent me one more photograph today. The angle and lighting make it hard for me to distinguish the shape of the inflorescences. Anybody have a keener eye than me?



    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 4:22PM
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springwood_gardens(6B Pittsburgh)

The arborescens could also be something like Ryan Gainey or Samantha. No real way to tell unless it was ID'd from the time of purchase (nursery or grower).

The second pic looks like an H. serrata. There are almost too many to name, but it has a resemblance to Grayswood.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 2:24PM
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