What hydrangea has very dark stems?

sue36(Z5 Maine)June 27, 2010

Driving around today I saw a garden with some striking hydrangeas. They were more upright than bushy, blue flowers (less globe-like than ES), almost black stems, and the leaves had a hint of burgundy. I've been trying to figure out what they are. Does anyone have any ideas? In my area Nikkos rarely bloom, so I would assume these bloom on new wood. Thanks.

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luis_pr(7b/8a Hurst, TX)

Have you checked out Hydrangea Nigra? Lady in Red is a lacecap with dark red stems.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2010 at 11:07PM
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sue36(Z5 Maine)

I looks similar to Nigra, but from what I have read Nigra blooms on old wood. This plant had blooms high up, right at the top fo the plant, and old wood hydrangeas just don't bloom well around here. It wasn't a lacecap. Does anyone have Nigra in a zone 5 garden that blooms?

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 10:33AM
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My Nigra blooms very high up right on top--sounds like that is what you saw although Oregon Pride is a dark stemmed hydra. also thought doubt either would do in Zone 5 without protection---try to get a cutting from the house and make your own plants....

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 1:33PM
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sue36(Z5 Maine)

The garden is actually in front of a commercial building right on a busy street. Unless I snuck in during the dead of night I would get caught. ;)

I don't think it is Oregon Pride. The pictures I've seen of that online the stems are dark but the leaves don't show the burgundy hint that this one shows.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2010 at 3:10PM
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donna1952(8 W WA Puget So)

I believe the plant you saw is LADY IN RED - and I have about 5 of them. The "red" part is NOT the flower, but the stems and the leaves. The flowers here in my soil, are a soft blue and are lacy looking. I do not think the plant is spectacular really, and am willing to sell all but one of them. I thought the flowers would be red. I am in an area South of Seattle and not much is blooming yet as our weather has been coolish and rainy. Plants are growing tho!

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 3:24PM
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sue36(Z5 Maine)

It wasn't Lady in Red, the flowers were not lace cap, they were more globular (but not as much as ES). I am going to try to take a picture and post it here.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2010 at 3:58PM
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sue36(Z5 Maine)

Here is a picture of the hydrangea, I took it tonight. Does anyone recognize it?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2010 at 9:49PM
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looks just like my Nigra in bloom but the leaves look like Lady in Red--Id get a cutting.....

    Bookmark   July 2, 2010 at 10:21AM
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It does look a lot like Nigra... I think you have likely come across quite a specimen though; if it's blooming where only re-bloomers typically do. I have seen Nigra show some dark color in the stems like that, and the shape in your pic fits with Nigra, also.

The only other thought I have is that I seem to remember Mike Dirr working on a dark-stemmed rebloomer with Nigra as a parent, but last I heard, it was still just one of his nameless masses- a numbered designation at best. It may well have been released at some point though- or the garden's owner might have gotten a tester from him, if they're industry-types. Otherwise, I'd guess it's just a natural mutation- and a lovely one at that!

    Bookmark   July 3, 2010 at 11:40PM
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sue36(Z5 Maine)

There is a nice, newer subdivision near us that has an island in the cul de sac and there are several of these (at least 6, all look the same) as well as grasses, etc., planted. Builder installed. I can't remember if the plants were installed last year or this year. If they were installed this year then they may never bloom again if they bloom on old wood only. It amazes me how easy it is to find Nikkos here, they almost never bloom. My understanding is that Nigra blooms on old wood only. I've checked out the leading garden center around here and they don't sell anything like this. I may have to root a cutting.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2010 at 9:06PM
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blueeskimo(z4-5a PA)

'Black stems, and the leaves had a hint of burgundy', flower is 'less globe-like than ES'...
I think it has 'Preziosa' written over it.

'Nikko Blue' would not bloom reliably where I live, but I've noticed a couple of 'Preziosa' in the neighborhood planted in ground since year, have bloomed beautifully this summer. The only difference compared with the picture above is that, the flowers' color are not uniformly blue or pink. They're usually mixed.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2010 at 6:01PM
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