Ever Heard Of Hortense Hydrangea?

daileyOctober 2, 2009

i saw the most beautiful dark pink hydrangeas at my local nursery! they are not on sale ($35) so i'm a bit leary of purchasing them as i cannot find any info of them on the web. i was told they are macrophylla.

does anyone have any knowledge of these particular type? or do any of you have some in your garden? i am in zone 5...thanks!

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Lilyfinch z7 mid tn

I am no expert at all, but i googled hortense hydrangea, and it seems hortense is another word for mophead! There was one source that said this group of hydr was named Hortense after "18th century botanist Prince de Nassau."
I wonder if what you saw was just a regular nikko(or similar) on some kinda fetilizer? HTH! :)

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 5:58PM
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That is correct - 'hortense' refers to a type of hydrangea, not a specific cultivar. It is a more common term in Europe but it equates to all the mophead forms of bigleaf hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla var. macrophylla. Lacecap forms of bigleaf hydrangea are designated Hydrangea macrophylla var. normalis.

Is there no other label info on these plants? Can you inquire of the nursery buyer? I would hesitate to buy before determining if they are an older cultivar that blooms on old wood or a newer, more cold hardy introduction that blooms on both old and new wood........unless you are prepared to provide winter protection regardless. And FWIW, there are many pink flowered cultivars that hold their pink color very well regardless of soil conditions or fertilizer - 'Masja' and 'Glowing Embers' are just a couple of choices.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 10:10AM
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I saw some awesome blooms while in South Carolina from a lacecap for sale at a grocery store. Similar problem. All it said was "Hydrangea". Oh well. Hee hee he.

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 2:01PM
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Back in the country of my youth, the mop-head type hydrangeas were called Hortensias or Milflores ... the only type I knew, that grew there. I read from Dr M. Dirr's book on Hydrangeas, that this cultivar won't survive here. I assume & agree that they are the Nikko type (macrophylla) that will require serious Winter protection. These are perhaps sold as container/patio hydrangeas.

I found a whole bunch at HD this Summer ... quite impressive huge blossoms of deep pinks, deep blues & deep purples, all in one plant, sold for $15 but was told that they were patio Hs & not hardy for our zone ... I guess just for the WOW effect, just like MUMs in the Fall!


    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 6:14PM
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Explanation of the name from the Dutch source:
The name Hydrangea is from Greek origin. The name is made up by two parts, hydro = water and angeion = vessel or jug. This refers to the shape of the seed capsule, which is produced when flowering has ended. Grovonius first used the name in 1739.
Several theories have been put forward to explain the origins of the plantÂs other name, Hortensia. The French botanist Philibert Commerson first used this name in 1771, possibly in honor of a lady.
For example Hortense Barré, CommersonÂs mistress who, disguised as a youth, accompanied him on a trip around the world between 1766 and 1769. This was called the Bougainville Expedition. Perhaps it was for Hortense Lepaute, a well-known astronomer, the wife of a watchmaker and a friend of Commerson. Originally Commerson christened his new plant Peautia coelestina, a reference to the name Lepaute and to the ladyÂs interest in astronomy. Others say that the plant was named after Queen Hortense, the daughter of Joséphine de Beauharnais, wife of Napoleon. However, that Hortense was not born until after the death of Commerson.
The most likely 'godmother' is Hortense de Nassau, daughter of the Prince of Nassau who participated in the Bougainville Expedition together with Commerson. Whatever the truth of the matter may be, the name 'Hortensia' is not considered by botanists to be a scientific name. In addition it only refers to the type brought back in dried form by Commerson from the island of Mauritius in the 18th century. This was Hydrangea macrophylla, with its familiar round flower heads.

Explanation of the name from the English source:
Sir Joseph Banks introduced the first hydrangea from a Chinese garden in 1798. This was initially called H. hortensis and later renamed ´Sir Joseph Banks´. From this we get the old name Hortensia. A similar plant landed in France and has bloomed every year since then."

My explanation :-))
Gender: Feminine
Usage: Ancient Roman, Spanish, French
Feminine form of the Roman family name Hortensius, possibly derived from Latin hortus = "garden".

    Bookmark   October 3, 2009 at 8:12PM
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wow! so much information, you guys are awesome, thanks! i think i'm gonna pass on them...the lady at the nursery said they were heavily fertalized and probably won't be that dark pink next year.

i *did* get a glowing embers and twist and shout...put them both on the north side. hopefully there will be enough sun for them...we'll see!

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 10:07AM
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'Glowing Embers' will require winter protection in your zone. 'Twist and Shout' is from the Endless Summer collection so should be root hardy at least but may experience signficant winter dieback if it is anything like its ES cousin. I might consider providing protection for that one as well.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2009 at 11:53AM
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