Wild Hydrangea,  Hydrangea arborescens
Hydrangeaceae or Hydrangea Family

Population Large shrub, 4 to 10 feet tall.  Leaves egg-shaped, up to 6 inches long, toothed and long pointed. Leaves are opposite each other, on long leaf stalks. Flowers are tiny, white, 5-petalled, and crowded in flattish clusters.  Around the edges of the clusters are often found larger, sterile flowers with 3, 4 or 5 petals. Blooms in summer. Fruit a woody capsule.

Native of woods and rocky ravines. In Wildwood, common on the eastern slope in the woods near the powerline; occasional elsewhere. 

If sterile flowers are present, it is easily recognized, as no other plant in Wildwood has them around rounded flower clusters. Doublefile viburnum has large sterile flowers, but the flowers are arranged in rows, not rounded clusters. Without the sterile flowers, it could be mistaken for black haw, which has narrower leaves on short (less than 1 inch) leafstalks. Most shrubs in the Park have leaves that are not opposite each other. Hydrangeas sold for landscaping (inlcuding this species and Asian species) usually are selected to have an abundance of large, sterile flowers and few to no fertile ones.


 Flowers close up

Fruiting stalk




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