Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Panicle Hydrangea, Tree Hydrangea
Hydrangea paniculata 'True Unique'

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrangea (hy-DRAIN-juh) (Info)
Species: paniculata (pan-ick-yoo-LAY-tuh) (Info)
Cultivar: True Unique

» View all varieties of Hydrangeas

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)
15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)
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)

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:
This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings
Flowers are good for drying and preserving

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

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


1 positive
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive 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).

'Unique' was grown and introduced in 1968 by the de Belders for its large, pure white sterile florets (about 2" across) and rounded sepals. The showy sepals almost completely conceal the fertile flowers. The inflorenscences may reach 16 inches long by 10 inches wide. A fairly large shrub which should grow 10 - 14 feet high. Later flowering, approximately mid-July in zone 7b.

'Unique' resulted from seedlings of 'Floribunda'. The seedlings were uprooted by birds, and the one plant that remained was properly termed 'Unique.' The other story has it that it was the only plant left after a trainee thoroughly weeded a seedbed. Whichever is true, 'Unique' has become the parent to several outstanding cultivars.

It has been reported that this cultivar is horribly confused in nursery commerce, and seldom is the true form. Prof. Dirr comments in the above publication that he has grown 3 so-called 'Unique' shrubs, none were true to description above. He states that Ted Stephens, Nurseries Caroliniana, North Augusta, SC was able to secure the true 'Unique' from the curator of Hillier Arboretum, and now offers these as true Unique. Descriptions given as to height and color of the flowers by Van Gelderen in the text above, are at odds with what Prof. Dirr reports as the 'True Unique', so it is left up to the gardener to compare the two descriptions and decide whether they have the original cultivar.


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

Norristown, Pennsylvania

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