Flower of the Day: Wild Hydrangea

Hydrangea arborescens; Hydrangeaceae (hydrangea family; older sources place it in the Saxifragaceae)

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I was lucky to find this particular plant; it isn’t rare, but it is unusual to find a specimen with large clusters of the showy sterile flowers (actually bracts).  More typically in the wild you’d see an inflorescence of much smaller (and less spectacular) fertile flowers, with just a few of the sterile flowers around the edges.  Wild hydrangea is a small understory shrub that likes moist but well-drained soils.  It is listed as endangered in Florida and New York.  This one was found on the Cabin John Trail, not very far from the water.

2 thoughts on “Flower of the Day: Wild Hydrangea

  1. Just saw one of these with large blooms like this along the canal towpath in the Cabin John area today. I assumed it was a garden escapee; nice to know it’s a wild plant.

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