Hydrangea aspera 'Villosa Group'

Hydrangea aspera Villosa (340)

Common names:

  • Hydrangea

Location in the Gardens:

Season of interest:

  • August flowering shrub “The flowers are a clear blue in the centre and the outer sterile ones a light lavender” (Stern, A Chalk Garden)

Description of plant:

Hydrangea aspera 'Villosa Group' is a large shrub characterised by its large flattened flowerheads comprising a mixture of tiny blue or purple flowers surrounded by large conspicuous sterile lilac or rose florets, which appear on arching stems in late summer and autumn. It's perfect for growing in a mixed or shrub border. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Ideal growing conditions and habitat:

Hardy, does well in chalk. Hydrangea aspera 'Villosa Group' grows in moist but well-drained soil in full sun to partial shade. Allow plenty of space for it to grow into. Prune annually to keep in shape.

Country of origin:

  • China

Highdown history:

It was introduced by E H Wilson and planted by Stern

“The hydrangeas came to Highdown as cuttings from the plants growing at Logan in south-west Scotland where the McDouall brothers made a wonderful garden full of treasures” (Stern, A Chalk Garden).

Other interesting information:

The blue pigmentation of the flowers of most mopheads are dependent on the acid conditions of the soil but not for this plant which makes it all the more appealing for a chalk garden. The blue is also not the chemical blue that comes with the application of sequestered iron but an unusual violet-blue.

Hydrangea aspera Villosa (744)

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