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Tell Me About the 'Other' Mophead Serratas...

Posted by lois PA Zone 6 ( on
Fri, Jan 1, 10 at 21:00

I am still definitely in love with the H. serrata "Preciosa". I also found a couple more serratas that are supposed to be more mophead than lacecap: "Little Geisha" and "Imperatrice Eugenie".

Does anyone grow either of these two serratas, and if so, how big do they get? Are there things you like or don't like about them?

Thanks for any information,

Lois in PA

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Tell Me About the 'Other' Mophead Serratas...

I do not have Little Geisha but know it should be considered a good "dwarf" hydrangea, growing around 3 feet (maybe a little more in the South). A good choice when potting hydrangeas too. It has often been confused with another lacecap so you may want to buy it when it is in bloom so you can confirm. The small flowers should start white and then turn either blue/pink.

"Imperatrice Eugenie" is not common here in the States. I could not find much information about it. Most of the information was from Europe. The flowers are white to off white and grows 4-5' tall there. The flowers gradually change color as they age so you get (at first) some spots of blue/pink until they whole flower turns blue/pink.

RE: Tell Me About the 'Other' Mophead Serratas...

Thanks for replying, luis_pr. Are there other mophead serratas available in the US?

Lois in PA

RE: Tell Me About the 'Other' Mophead Serratas...

There's not all that many......serratas are pretty much limited to a lacecap flower form. Dirr in Hydrangeas for American Gardens lists just a few: 'Akishino tamani', 'Komachi', 'Maiko' (or 'Maiko ajisai'), 'Shiro maiko' (aka 'Little Geisha') and a couple of others that he describes as "lacecap/almost mophead". How easy any of these are to locate I couldn't say.

It is of course a personal preference, but I lean heavily towards the lacecap-type flowers - I find them much more graceful in bloom and the more delicate flowerheads don't weigh down the branches.

And FWIW, he lists 'Preziosa' as a hybrid of H. macrophylla and serrata. In my garden, this produces both lacecap AND mophead type blossoms, which is pretty common.

RE: Tell Me About the 'Other' Mophead Serratas...

Thanks, gardengal. I have been admiring a neighbor's Preziosa for almost 2 years (took me a long to figure out what type of hydrangea it was!), and plan to get one for myself in spring. The neighbor's Preziosa reminded me of an old-fashioned rose bush when it was in bloom, except, of course, the flowers were many different shades of lavender instead of pink. I liked that the flower clusters did not flop after a rain, and the bush seemed to be more in scale with itself, probably because the leaves were smaller and there were more branches on the plant than a macrophylla of the same size.

I also have a lacecap, but the delicate flowers just kind of blend into the background, and I am looking for something that has flowers you can see from a distance.

I will take a look at the additional hydrangeas you mentioned.

Thanks again,

Lois in PA

RE: Tell Me About the 'Other' Mophead Serratas...

H.s. 'Komachi' (pretty girl/woman) should be an easy one to find. It's often sold as 'Pretty Maiden', a Japanese/English translation applied by Itsaul Plants (Atlanta) when they introduced it into the US market several years past.

I have been growing 'Little Geisha' for several years, in a pot, located on my front steps. (Had 2, one was stolen from under my nose, when I entered the house for a refreshment one day).
It is truly a dwarf for me, with height & width less than one foot and flowers about 2-2" dia. I expect it would be larger, if grown in the garden, with room for unrestricted root expansion.

H. x 'Preziosa' is the only Hydrangea that has hosted Powdery Mildew in my garden, during 25 years of growing 11 species and countless cultivars. A rooted clone of that plant, located only a few feet away, has never developed PM. The original plant was removed and destroyed.

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