Bigleaf Hydrangea, French Hydrangea, Mophead 'Harlequin'

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: Harlequin
Additional cultivar information:(aka Harlekijn)
» View all varieties of Hydrangeas


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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:

Scarlet (dark red)

Dark Blue


Bloom Time:

Mid Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

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

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Denville, New Jersey

Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Ozone Park, New York

Southold, New York

Wynnewood, Pennsylvania

Mount Pleasant, South Carolina

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 18, 2011, fel from Wynnewood, PA (Zone 7a) wrote:

The blooms on this plant are marginal in my zone 6b/7a. It blooms on old wood only. The 7 year old plant in my front garden dies back each winter, and then grows to a small shrub again, but never blooms (even with protection). Divisions that I replanted in my backyard bloom each year, even without protection. The blooms are gorgeous, and the plant seems more drought tolerant than other hydrangeas I have.


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

According to the authors of "Encyclopedia of Hydrangeas" (2004 - Timber Press), "A strong growing shrub with many thin, but firm branches. The flowers are remarkably bicolored, the sepals are red with white margins. The whole plant looks somewhat untidy, but is interesting for its unique flowers. Synonyms: 'Bicolor', 'Sensation 75' . Sometimes misspelled as 'Harlekijn'. Bred by August Steiniger, Germany, in 1957.

No hardiness zone listed.

Additional information: semi-dwarf to 3'. Many colors in aging flowers, later flowers are often solid color. purple with white margins acid soil, red with white on alkaline. AKA 'Monrey', Buttons 'n Bows (R).