Hydrangea macrophylla - (Thunb.)Ser.
Common Name French hydrangea , Florist's Hydrangea, Bigleaf Hydrangea
Family Hydrangeaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Sunny places near the coast of E. Japan[11].
Range E. Asia - Japan.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Bloom Color: Blue, Lavender, Pink, Purple, Red, White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early spring, Late summer, Late spring, Mid summer, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.

Hydrangea macrophylla French hydrangea , Florist

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Raul654Hydrangea paniculata
Hydrangea macrophylla French hydrangea , Florist
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of shrub
Hydrangea macrophylla is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3 m (9ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

H. maritima.

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses: Sweetener.

The young leaves, when dried and rubbed between the hands, become very sweet and are used to make a sweet tea called 'tea of heaven', it is used in Buddhist ceremonies[183]. The leaves contain phellodulcin (its chemical formula is C16 H14 O), a very sweet substance that can be used as a sugar substitute[116, 183]. One small leaf is sufficient to sweeten a cup of tea[218]. The older leaves can be dried, powdered and used as a flavouring on foods[105, 177]. The young leaves and shoots are also eaten cooked[105, 177]. Young leaves contain the toxin hydrocyanic acid, this reduces as the leaves grow older, often to zero levels[218].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antiperiodic;  Antitussive;  Diuretic.

The leaves, roots and flowers are antimalarial, antitussive and diuretic[218, 240]. They are said to be a more potent antimalarial than quinine, due to the presence of an alkaloid[240].


Other Uses
Hedge;  Hedge.

A useful hedging plant because of its vigorous growth. The Hortensias or mop-head cultivars are recommended[200].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Container, Seashore, Specimen. Tolerates most soil[200], thriving in a well-drained loamy soil[1], but resenting dryness at the roots[11, 200]. Succeeds in full sun or semi-shade[200], but if it is grown in a low rainfall area then it requires shade at the hottest part of the day[11]. Prefers a shady position[1]. Does well on very acid soils with a pH around 4.5[200]. Plants also tolerate alkaline soils, though they become chlorotic on shallow soils over chalk[200]. The colour of the flowers reflects the pH of the soil the plant is growing in, the flowers are pink in a neutral to alkaline soil and blue in an acid soil[200]. A very wind resistant plant when grown in mild areas[166]. Dormant plants are hardy to about -10°c[184], though the young growth in spring is frost-tender[K]. A very ornamental plant and polymorphic species[200], there are many named varieties[184]. This species was named for a sterile (or 'mop head') cultivar so that the true species should really be referred to as H. macrophylla normalis[182]. Plants are cultivated for their leaves in China and Japan. Plants are very tolerant of pruning and can be cut back into old wood if required[188]. This species is notably susceptible to honey fungus[200]. Special Features:Not North American native, All or parts of this plant are poisonous, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers, Blooms are very showy.
Seed - surface sow in a greenhouse in spring[113]. Cover the pot with paper until the seed germinates[78]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 8cm long, July/August in a frame. Overwinter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring[78]. Cuttings of mature wood in late autumn in a frame[200]. Mound layering in spring. Takes 12 months[78]. Leaf-bud cuttings of the current seasons growth in a frame[200].
Other Names
Battien, Hottangxia, Kembang bokor,
Found In
Asia, Australia, Britain, China, Hawaii, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Japan, Myanmar, Pacific, SE Asia, USA, Vietnam,
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Clerodendrum bungeiGlory Flower, Rose glorybower, Cashmere Bouquet, Mexican Hydrangea, Glory Bower01
Deinanthe bifida 10
Deutzia scabraFuzzy pride-of-rochester, Deutzia10
Dichroa febrifugaChinese Quinine, Dichroa03
Hydrangea anomalaHydrangea31
Hydrangea arborescensSeven Barks, Wild hydrangea, Ashy Hydrangea, Snowhill Hydrangea, Smooth Hydrangea13
Hydrangea asperaHydrangea10
Hydrangea hirta 10
Hydrangea paniculataPanicled hydrangea, Hybrid Hydrangea, PeeGee Hydrangea, Panicle Hydrangea12
Hydrangea serrataHydrangea, Mountain Hydrangea, Sawtooth Hydrangea20
Hydrangea serrata amagiana 40
Hydrangea serrata thunbergiiTea of heaven, Ama-tsja,30
Philadelphus coronariusMock Orange, Sweet mock orange00
Philadelphus delavayi 00
Philadelphus lewisiiMock Orange, Lewis' mock orange01
Philadelphus microphyllusLittleleaf Mock Orange10
Philadelphus pubescensHoary mock orange00
Philadelphus purpurascens 00
Philadelphus x virginalisMock Orange00
Platycrater arguta 10
Schizophragma hydrangeoidesJapanese Hydrangea Vine10
Schizophragma integrifolium 02


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Readers comment
   Tue Oct 19 21:27:58 2004
phyllodulcin or phellodulcin ?
p. koch   Sun Jun 10 2007
This caution concerned me from "The Prescription for Nutritional Healing" concerning Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) Parts used were rhizomes and roots but warned that the leaves should not be consumed because they contain cyanide amd can be toxic. What is your opinion?
Gardener   Wed Apr 16 2008
The Queensland Government Poisons Information Centre (Australia) warns: "All parts of the plant are poisonous. If eaten, symptoms can include nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea. Skin contact can cause dermatitis, rash or irritation. Toxicity category: 2, 3 Warning: Seek medical attention if symptoms occur.

Queensland Govt. Poisons Information Centre

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Subject : Hydrangea macrophylla  

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