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Plant Identification: SOLVED: Is this hydrangea arborescens, an Annabelle?

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teainthegarden
Quebec
Canada

May 9, 2013
10:09 AM

Post #9514526

[Note: I later posted A PICTURE OF A BLOOM in a reply farther down.]

I've been reading all over the internet and I thought that I id'ed my hydrangea shrubs as Annabelles and started cutting away, but then realized that much of the green shoots is coming out of what looks like old, dead wood. Here is a description:

--The leaves are NOT shaped like oaks and not like hearts.
--When in bloom, the flowers heads are round, first green then white, if I remember correctly.
--Here are photos I took today. If they are not clear enough I can take more.
--I don't generally prune it other than trying to clean it up a bit this time of the year.
--It is growing among ferns and who knows what else.
--Many of the branches are lying on the ground. Perhaps the kids were running around in there when snow was still on the ground or maybe it's just from the heavy snow.
--It has light tan, smooth, thin "bark" covering the stems/branches.
--The insides of the stems I cut are white.
--The blooms were small last year but normally they are LARGE.

The first picture, the one with the leaves, is part of a branch I had to cut because the branch was broken. The 4th picture, the dead branch looking one, I cut because there was nothing green growing on it and I thought it was dead, but after I cut it I noticed that the underlying wood is brown with parts that are green (see photo with stem only). The core of the inside is soft and white. The dried bloom (last photo) is from this branch. I put a penny next to it so you could tell the size; normally they are larger.

The picture outside is another of the same type of shrub. The top of the plant has green leaves, like in the other photo, along various branches and even higher up than what you can see in the photo.

Thanks for your help. I don't want to cut what I shouldn't.



This message was edited May 9, 2013 10:13 AM

This message was edited May 9, 2013 10:44 AM

This message was edited May 9, 2013 9:36 PM

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ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

May 9, 2013
1:22 PM

Post #9514726

You could well have a Hydrangea arborescens there (of which 'Annabelle' is but one selection, with really big flower heads).

I would not remove any more branches, until you have let some of the new growth grow out to full leaves. That should indicate the extent of live wood on your plant. After that, you can cut back dead branch tips to the first set of growing points of new foliage.

AND, then you should be able to have a fully positive ID of your plant, if you keep us current here on progress.
teainthegarden
Quebec
Canada

May 9, 2013
2:10 PM

Post #9514786

I may have taken a photo of it in bloom last year. If I can find it, would that be enough for a positive ID?

ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

May 9, 2013
2:35 PM

Post #9514823

It may - post all the images you can find.

The size, shape, and texture of leaves are one way that I can separate Hydrangea species from each other. Blooms are another obvious way, but the size/structure/habit of the plant is another strong indicator.

I would expect Hydrangea paniculata to be the much more common plant in Quebec, but the image of the spent flower head looks more like it belongs to Hydrangea arborescens.
teainthegarden
Quebec
Canada

May 9, 2013
3:56 PM

Post #9514923

I found a photo taken, I believe, in July a few years back. Meanwhile I'll keep looking. I don't know the dimensions, but you can compare the size of the bloom and the leaf to the blades of grass if that helps.

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teainthegarden
Quebec
Canada

May 9, 2013
7:04 PM

Post #9515132

[quote="ViburnumValley"]It may - post all the images you can find.

The size, shape, and texture of leaves are one way that I can separate Hydrangea species from each other. Blooms are another obvious way, but the size/structure/habit of the plant is another strong indicator.

I would expect Hydrangea paniculata to be the much more common plant in Quebec, but the image of the spent flower head looks more like it belongs to Hydrangea arborescens.[/quote]

Habitat: Under trees in a shady area with ferns, ground usually covered with leaves, moist soil probably.
Size: 4 ft tall ??
Shape & structure: (See photos)
Leaves: Serrated and large (See photo). The texture of the leaf in spring, when new, looks like it has tiny fuzzy hairs on the edges but feels smooth not fuzzy.
Bloom color: Greenish at first then white.
Stem/branch: In spring the stem has a light, tan, dead-wood color, peeling bark layered over a green and light brown stem/branch.

Thanks again!
teainthegarden
Quebec
Canada

May 14, 2013
2:03 PM

Post #9520536

Hi,
Just wondering if the photo of the bloom I posted later is enough to identify the hydrangea.
Thanks!

ViburnumValley

ViburnumValley
Scott County, KY
(Zone 5b)

May 14, 2013
4:20 PM

Post #9520659

I maintain that the plant is Hydrangea arborescens, with no indication of whether it is a named selection - without more information.
teainthegarden
Quebec
Canada

June 3, 2013
2:07 PM

Post #9544883

Thanks, Virburnum. Since my last photos, I've cut back dead stuff, and accidentally pruned live branches as well when I was following a "dead" stem down to the trunk only to realize afterward that there was a live part branching out as well. (I'm a beginner.)
Here's pictures that I took today. Perhaps it will be helpful in identifying the selection.
As you can see these hydrangeas are growing under trees with ferns and other stuff.
It's hard to tell the height because the branches are leaning, some lying on the ground, but I've included 1' rulers in the photos. The straggly looking hydrangeas behind the others are about 4'.
Some of the leaves are curled. I don't know why though.
Thanks again!

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sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

June 14, 2013
8:10 AM

Post #9558717

I think lack of response just means no change to previous proposed IDs.
Look under / inside the curled leaves, maybe aphids under them.

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