Smooth Hydrangea
Hydrangea arborescens 'Bella Anna'

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrangea (hy-DRAIN-juh) (Info)
Species: arborescens (ar-bo-RES-senz) (Info)
Cultivar: Bella Anna
Additional cultivar information:(PP21227, aka PIIHA-1)
Hybridized by Dirr
Registered or introduced: 2008
» View all varieties of Hydrangeas

Height:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Spacing:

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

Hardiness:

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

Pale Pink

Pink

Rose/Mauve

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Foliage:

Deciduous

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Patented

Propagation Methods:

From herbaceous stem cuttings

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Regional

This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lisle, Illinois

Peoria, Illinois

Newport, Minnesota

Pitman, New Jersey

Verona, Pennsylvania

Sheboygan Falls, Wisconsin

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Gardeners' Notes:

1
positive
2
neutrals
1
negative
RatingContent
Neutral

On Jul 4, 2015, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

My old woody plant teacher, Dr. Dirr, when I was at the University of ILL, selected this cultivar. I have only seen this cultivar once, which was at Morton Arboretum, where it was looking good in June 2015. It is one of those cultivars that bear only the sterile flowers, no fertile flowers with stamen and pistils, so it is not good for pollinators, and will not be embraced by those in the native, naturalistic horticulture movement. I prefer the "lacecap" types of hydrangeas because they bear both the pretty sterile flowers and the fertile flowers in the flower cluster, which is the natural form of flower cluster for hydrangeas, some viburnums, and other woody plants. I would be happy to plant one of these or another similar cultivar in a bigger planting of the straight species.

Negative

On May 4, 2015, kbenz from Sheboygan Falls, WI wrote:

Purchased these expensive hydrangeas because of the description of being a strong stemmed pink bloom. (we have lake wind) It has been three years now and flowers are small and stems are super weak. All in all I would not recommend. I am moving them this spring to other property to see if there is improvement, if not then off to the dump!

Neutral

On Jun 3, 2014, SpringwoodGrdns from Penn Hills, PA wrote:

I continue to grow mine sited between two traditional Annabelles. However, I'm generally unimpressed with the plant.

As of 2014, you can still find a few nurseries carrying these as growers still seem to be producing them. And, the product still has its own page hidden on Endless Summer's website. But, the product is no longer shown alongside its ES brethren or acknowledged in its product listing. So I guess we can assume it's getting the axe, a.k.a. dropped from the product line.

Personal observations over the last 3+ years are that:

1. The plant does not grow as fast as Annabelle. New shoots from the ground are several inches shorter.
2. The blooms are not quite as large (overall) as Annabelle.
3. Old wood stems are not much st... read more

Positive

On May 23, 2011, braun06 from Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

The stems of the shrub are stronger than on Invincibelle. I appreciate the tie to breast cancer research for invincibelles but I feel this is a cheap ploy often to lure buyers into feeling better about their purchases when only cents go towards any benefit cause. Here you buy a Bella Anna solely on its own merrits, not to sell Invincibelle or any cause short, as it is truly a high quality and unique plant itself.

The stock of Bella Anna I have seen at one location had very dark blue/green leaves. The leaves alone, even if it never flowered, were enough for me to buy one. I have seen the leaf in a lighter green at another nursery. I don't know what causes this variation.

The flowers are a magenta/pink color when opening. I'd say they are brighter, mo... read more