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Hydrangea arborescens

This plant has poison characteristics. See below.
Common Name(s):
Smooth hydrangea, Wild hydrangea
Cultivar(s):
Annabelle, Grandiflora, Incrediball, Invincibelle Spirit (pink flowered), White Dome, Hayes Starburst (star shaped florets), Grandiflora
Categories:
Native Plants, Poisonous Plants, Shrubs
Comment:

A shrub native to portions of the eastern US with yellowish brown fall foliage.  Leaves may suffer in full sun and with drought though they can handle moist conditions quite well. Be sure to severely prune in early spring to rejuvenate. Blooms appear on new wood and they attract bees. This plant may be damaged by deer.

Description:
Deciduous shrub; leaves opposite, simple, stalked, toothed and sometimes lobed; flowers in terminal, round or umbrella-shaped clusters and nearly always white or cream colored. Several named cultivars have sterile flowers making a ball-shaped bloom. A few modern hybrids have been bred to have pink flowers. Unique to H. arborescens, the flower color is not affected by the soil pH. Hydrangea arborescens is very cold hardy but will also grow in warmer Carolina climates.
Height:
3-6 ft.
Foliage:
Opposite, simple dark green leaves; 2-8 in. long; yellowish brown fall color
Flower:
The native Smooth Hydrangea is white, 6 to 8 inches, flattened corymb in summer; opens white then turns green and brown. The named cultivars have typical ball-shaped hydrangea flowers 8 to 12 inches across. Newer cultivars can be found with pink flowers.
Zones:
3 to 9
Habit:
Deciduous
Site:
Partial shade; prefers rich, moist, well-drained soil
Texture:
Coarse
Form:
Clumpy rounded shrub; non-branching canes
Exposure:
Partial shade; moist soil
Poison Part:
Bark, leaves, flower buds.
Poison Delivery Mode:
Ingestion.
Symptoms:
Nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, sweating.
Toxic Principle:
Hydrangin, a cyanogenic glycoside.
Severity:
TOXIC ONLY IF LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN.
Found in:
Houseplant or interiorscape; landscape as woody shrub; forest or natural area as native shrub.
Width:
3-5 ft.
Tags:
TSC, deciduous, fall interest, bees, fall color, pollinator, pollinator plant, honeybees

NCCES plant id: 487

Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' H. arborescens 'Annabelle' growth habit
Photo by Dale McNeil, CC BY-NC-2.0
Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle' H. arborescens 'Annabelle' bloom
Photo by Elsa Spezio, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Hydrangea arborescens 'Grandiflora' H. arborescens 'Grandiflora' with Hellebores and Epimedium
Photo by Leonora Enking, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Hydrangea arborescens 'Invincibelle Spirit' H. arborescens 'Invincibelle Spirit' by NC Hort
Photo by Thomas Ranney
Hydrangea arborescens 'Invincibelle Spirit H. arborescens 'Invincibelle Spirit' bloom by NC Hort
Photo by Thomas Ranney