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PlantFiles: Panicle Hydrangea, Tree Hydrangea
Hydrangea paniculata 'Barbara'

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrangea (hy-DRAIN-juh) (Info)
Species: paniculata (pan-ick-yoo-LAY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: Barbara
Additional cultivar information: (PP13606; aka The Swan)
Hybridized by Debelder; Year of Registration or Introduction: 2001

» View all varieties of Hydrangeas

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)
6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

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)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Summer
Late Summer/Early Fall


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
From softwood cuttings

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

Click thumbnail
to view:

By bigcityal
Thumbnail #1 of Hydrangea paniculata by bigcityal

By NoLawns
Thumbnail #2 of Hydrangea paniculata by NoLawns


2 positives
3 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive NoLawns On Aug 18, 2014, NoLawns from Warrenville, IL wrote:

Floppy, but aggressive pruning late winter/early spring before growth produces sturdier stems, and BIGGER flowers! Will grow and bloom around 4-5' hard pruned to about a foot.

Positive StolenMoments On Jan 27, 2009, StolenMoments from Petersburg, IN wrote:

Ditto to all the above posts. Mine too is young and a bit floppy, but it is only it's 2nd year and it was a tiny start. BUT.... it is a beautiful plant and the blooms are lovely. I did bring them in as cut flowers and it seemed to rebloom more if trimmed. I now have 4 in all up a path and look forward to the show this summer....

Neutral Cearbhaill On Jul 15, 2008, Cearbhaill from Russell, KY (Zone 6b) wrote:

Mine is extremely floppy as well. I was told that if I stake it for the first 2-3 years it will be able to maintain an upright form once the branches thicken as it matures, so that is what I am doing. The blooms are huge and every bit as lovely as described, but I'm rating it a neutral because of the maintenance/staking issues with a young plant.

Neutral bigcityal On May 3, 2008, bigcityal from Menasha, WI (Zone 5a) wrote:

This plant is still young for me and I am trying to train it to be more upright. Starts out floppy compared to other paniculatas.

Neutral lmelling On Dec 4, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Information from both "Hydrangeas for American Gardens," by Michael A. Dirr (2004) and "Encyclopedia of Hydrangeas" C.J. and D.M. Van Gelderen (2004 - Timber Press).

A small to medium sized shrub growing 8 to 10 feet tall and 5 to 8 feet wide at maturity. Van Gelderen says that the branches are weak and can hardly carry the panicles. Dirr observes that the ray-flowers have the largest sepals (to 3" in diameter) that he has seen on any H. paniculata. The sterile florets, primarily in 4s, are composed of spatulate, concave, white sepals that do not overlap. Panicles are 10" long and 6" wide, dry well, and are useful for flower arrangements.

AKA as 'Barbara', trademarked under the name THE SWAN, licensed by Springfield Nurseries, Massachusetts. Bred by the de Belders, Belgium, in 1998.


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

Petersburg, Indiana
Russell, Kentucky
Tryon, North Carolina
Norristown, Pennsylvania
Menasha, Wisconsin

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