Hydrangea quercifolia W. Bartram

Oakleaf Hydrangea


CC = n/a
CW =
MOC = 0

© SRTurner

Family - Hydrangeaceae

Habit - Shrub.

Stems - To 2.5m tall, multiple from base, branching, woody.

Hydrangea_quercifolia_stem.jpg Stem and node.

© SRTurner

Leaves - Opposite, 5-7 lobed, petiolate, margins serrate, tomentose below, sparsely hairy to glabrous above, to +12cm broad, +15cm long.

Hydrangea_quercifolia_leaf1.jpg Leaf adaxial.

© SRTurner

Hydrangea_quercifolia_leaf2.jpg Leaf abaxial.

© SRTurner

Inflorescence - Dense, terminal panicle to +30cm long. Peduncle and axis puberulent to tomentose.

Hydrangea_quercifolia_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Flowers - Outer flowers of inflorescence with 4 white, petaloid sepals (petals absent), sterile, to +2.5cm broad. Inner flowers small, with greenish sepals, fertile. Stamens 8-10, spreading. Filaments greenish-white, to 8mm long, glabrous. Anthers biglobose, whitish, 1.2mm broad.

Hydrangea_quercifolia_flowers.jpg Flowers.

© SRTurner

Fruits - Capsules.

Flowering - June - August.

Habitat - Cultivated.

Origin - Native to the southeastern U.S.

Lookalikes - Broadly, other members of the Hydrangea genus.

Other info. - This species is unmistakable while flowering because of the large, showy panicles it produces. These are usually elongated and conical rather than the more hemispherical inflorescences produced by other cultivated Hydrangea species. It prefers well drained yet cool soil. The plant does not (yet) occur naturally in Missouri, but rather in a relatively tightly clustered distribution contained mostly within Mississippi and Alabama.

The species name means "Oak-leaved" and the leaves do slightly resemble those of the red oak group.

Photographs taken at the Kansas City Zoo, 7-9-00 (DETenaglia); also at Kirwood Park, St. Louis County, MO, 5-18-2017 and 6-5-2019, and the St. Louis Zoo, St. Louis County, MO, 6-11-2019 (SRTurner).