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Bigleaf Hydrangea, French Hydrangea, Mophead 'Frillibet'

Hydrangea macrophylla

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrangea (hy-DRAIN-juh) (Info)
Species: macrophylla (mak-roh-FIL-uh) (Info)
Cultivar: Frillibet
Additional cultivar information:(aka Frillibeth)
» View all varieties of Hydrangeas


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


Unknown - Tell us


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:

Sun to Partial Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From woody stem cuttings

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round

Suitable for growing in containers


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

Baltimore, Maryland

Portland, Oregon

Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

North Augusta, South Carolina

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 2, 2016, fel from Wynnewood, PA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I really like this hydrangea. The flowers are gorgeous with their lacey edges. It does tend to be a bit more drought sensitive than some of my other hydrangeas, but the larger flowers make it worth it. Note that in my acid soil it is much bluer than most of the pictures show. Also it is a slow grower for a macrophylla, so it may be of interest for someone who has less space.


On Dec 2, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

From the "Encyclopedia of Hydrangeas," (Van Gelderen -2004), " A large and robust shrub up to 5'. The corymbs are globular and frilly looking. The sepals open unevenly, from cream through pale blue to blue. Of course this is not the case in alkaline soil. This cultivar is a branch sport of the well-known 'Madame Emile Mouillere', but despite its beauty is rarely available in the trade. According to an anecdote, the late Princess Margaret of England called her sister, Queen Elizabeth, Frillibet in her childhood. Selected by Michael Haworth-Booth in the 1950s (UK)."

Blooms early and lasts well into fall. Sepals flip upside down late in the season. No hardiness zone noted.