H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Hydrangea Paniculata Grandiflora - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Hydrangea Paniculata Grandiflora Described.
Hydrangea Paniculata Grandiflora - Large-panicled Hydrangea; Nat. Ord. Saxifragaceæ.
This dwarf shrub is perfectly hardy and deciduous; it comes from Japan, and is one of the best hardy things I have come across for some time. It is quite a new introduction, and has many fine qualities; the fact of its producing immense clusters of white flowers, 12in. long and 12in. in circumference, as well-established plants, is enough to induce its extended cultivation; but when it is stated that its clusters are numerous and durable, that the shrub begins to flower in summer and continues in great beauty until damaged by frosts, it will doubtless be recorded on the lists of desiderata of those who do not possess it. The usefulness of such a subject is notable not only to the gardener who has a keen eye to artistic effect, but to the lover of showy flowers.
The flowers are male and female kinds, and, as is usual with the genus, the fruitful ones are interspersed with unfruitful, being shorter in the stalks and nearly covered over by the latter, which are much larger; in fact, they are not the true flowers from a botanist's point of view, but with the florist it is exactly the opposite; their colour is white, more or less tinted with pink, which, if the autumn season proves fine and dry, becomes purple. As the name denotes, the bloom is arranged in massive panicles, pyramidal form, 6in. to 12in. long, and 4in. to 8in. in diameter. They slightly bend with the great weight, but are otherwise well supported by the woody stems. The latter are somewhat short, seeing they carry such large clusters. The leaves are oval, subcordate (varying), distinctly ribbed, and finely toothed, also varying much in size. The habit of the shrub is much branched, of strong growth, and very floriferous. The flowering shoots issue from the hard wood of the previous season's growth. In the shrubbery it is very attractive, its flowers out-numbering, out-measuring, and out-lasting most of its neighbours. Kept dwarf, what a grand bedder it would make! Grown in pots it is a first-class indoor subject. It has that rare quality, even when in small pots, of being adapted for the company of large ferns, palms, &c., from the great size of its panicles, and I need scarcely say that for cutting purposes it is valuable, more especially in decorations which are not closely viewed.
Hydrangea Paniculata Grandiflora
The culture of this shrub is very simple; it does best in rich loam. The situation should be sunny, that it may well ripen its wood. In order to have clusters of large size, it should be closely pruned, like roses, by which treatment the bush may also be kept in the desired form. Its propagation is by cuttings; they should be of fairly well-ripened wood of the last season's growth. The degree of ripeness, like that of such things as roses and fuchsias, may vary according to the method by which the cuttings are to be treated. Half-ripened shoots will root well in a little heat; the harder wood will root equally well, but more slowly, in the open in sandy loam.
Flowering period, July to end of September.
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