a "Shooting Star" Hydrangea? Is this a novelty or would it really transplant to a yard in zone 7?
Do a search under the name Hydrangea serrata 'Fuji Waterfall' (or sometimes 'Hanabi' or 'Shirofuji'). Not exactly what I'd call a 'novelty' although double cascading lacecaps are not the most common forms of hydrangea :-) And it is often sold forced in out-of-season bloom as a florist's hydrangea, so I see where you could get the idea that it was a novelty plant. It should grow quite well in zone 7, however I'd be a bit leary of buying a florist's specimen now and trying to keep it alive until it was safe to plant outside.
There is a lot of confusion about Shooting Star.
Either it's just a different name for the well known lavender-white 'Fuji Waterfall', just a pure white variant/sport of it or completely different hydrangea, no one seems to have a firm answer.
In any event, with very good probability to be correct, you may assume that SS have the same hardiness characteristics of the FW.
Therefore, it should be a bud hardy and definitely will be a root hardy in z7, though I wouldn't risk to plant it in a ground right now, despite the warm weather we have.
According to Wilkerson Mills, Shooting Star is the name given to it by the company who markets the forced supermarket version of Hanabi aka Fuji Waterfall. (Half Moon Bay?) Fuji Waterfall has the fat emerald glossy leaves of a macrophylla and most experts agree that it is a mac although you will sometimes see it listed as a serrata. I bought one in my local grocery store (couldn't resist), potted it up in good soil, kept it there all summer and planted it last fall. It took to inground planting like a fish to water and rewarded me handsomely this year. If you can manage to keep it alive in a pot until Spring (maybe in the basement or garage) then it probably will do well in the ground next spring. I wouldn't normally recommend florist growns but this is one sturdy plant with few rivals as far as looks go. Needs a good deal of protection from the sun. Dappled shade seems best. Blooms last a long time and often rebloom.
Disclaimer: Another poster on this forum bought something under the name SS and it was not the same plant that I have so I should tell you for comparison sake that mine is a huge white bloom with double cascading white sterile sepals and the double fertile inner sepals blush to a pale blue (or pink depending on soil ph) If you go strickly by Dirr's book "Hydrangeas for American Gardens" the other poster's SS sounded more like Hanabi (more colorful and tighter configuration) and mine more like Fuji Waterfall. Check out the American Hydrangea Society link below. My "Shooting Star" looks just like the one they have labeled as "Fuji Waterfall"....yg
Here is a link that might be useful: Fuji Waterfall pictures
More nursery growers are producing this Hydrangea than a few years ago. May be easier to find 'Hanabi' in your garden center than 'Shooting Stars' or other names. I have several that are about 4 years old. They are some of my favorite Hydrandea. I love the foliage almost as much as the flowers.
so the fuji waterfall hydrangea is a shade lover if i am understanding you correctly - if i wanted to grow this what would you reccommend in a container or how if i didnt have a tree to put in under for shade protection?