Hydrangea Species, Blue Evergreen Hydrangea, Chinese Quinine

Hydrangea febrifuga

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrangea (hy-DRAIN-juh) (Info)
Species: febrifuga (feb-ri-FEW-guh) (Info)
Synonym:Dichroa cyanea
Synonym:Dichroa febrifuga
Synonym:Dichroa versicolor
Synonym:Dichroa yunnanensis
» View all varieties of Hydrangeas


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)

4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


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)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Light Blue

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

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:

Alameda, California

Martinez, California

San Francisco, California

Storrs Mansfield, Connecticut

Atlanta, Georgia

New Orleans, Louisiana

Cambridge, Ohio

Beaufort, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina

Saint Helena Island, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Spring, Texas

Artondale, Washington

Bainbridge Island, Washington(2 reports)

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Gardeners' Notes:


On May 28, 2016, OHIOSEMPERVIREN from Cambridge, OH wrote:

First of all, year one resulted in my Dichroa Febrifuga being a perennial. I am hopeful as time goes on & it fully establishes itself it'll be like a Crepe-myrtle & have above-ground survival.

This first Winter for my Dichroa: 2015 into 2016, did go sub-zero(F) on several occasions.
But it all began:
In April 2015 I planted my "Hagiwara-Hardy"? -It was a hardier form from Japan bought through "Nurseries Caroliniana" & known to have endured more cold than the typical Dichroa in the USA. I believe this variety is known to produce blue flowers instead of pink; as is the case with the "UBC form".

Holding onto some above-ground growth into 2016, it had had severe damage to the highest (& therefore youngest) leaves when cold came in the Fall of 2015, ... read more


On Jul 8, 2014, KanapahaLEW from Alachua, FL (Zone 8b) wrote:

Very pretty flower clusters, evergreen leaves, thriving in droughty shade in north central Florida in the southernmost portion of 8b.


On Feb 19, 2008, monicahoppe from Portland, OR wrote:

I have just bought this amazingly beautiful plant in full 'berry' at Portland Nursery. I am going to plant it in morning sun.


On Jan 25, 2008, Em_CA from Fairfax, CA wrote:

Purchased this plant because it was labeled for full shade. I've found that in full shade, it's a bit weak and has had few blooms. I'm transplanting it this spring to a part-shade location and hope it will succeed.


On Jun 19, 2007, kateg from Bainbridge Island, WA wrote:

Mine was grown from a cutting from a plant purchased from the late lamented Heronswood Nursery. It gets dappled morning sun, filtered afternoon sun. Because it is planted near the foundation of my house, its flowers were pink rather than blue, but a little aluminum sulfate fixed that problem in one season. It sometimes suffers from a little frost damage (on Bainbridge Island, Washington) but comes right back. I root layered a cutting for a friend over the winter, and hers is doing fine. Love the leaf color, blue flowers, and bright blue berries. I have it near some Sarcacocca, an Actea that gets white berries on red stems in the fall, and a Kerria that has double yellow flowers in spring. It is a great compliment to all.


On May 25, 2007, grovespirit from Sunset Valley, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

This beautiful plant is a traditional Chinese medicinal. It is an emetic, purgative, feverfuge, expectorant and antimalarial but since it causes nausea and/or vomiting as a side effect and may have some toxicity it is best used as a last resort or emergency medicine.

It needs loose, loamy, moist soil to thrive and seems to prefer areas with high humidity and light shade.

Best bloom color is achieved with acid soil, so if your soil isn't acid, use an acid plant food or water with acidified water.


On Aug 30, 2004, lyn31347 from Ooltewah, TN (Zone 6b) wrote:

I planted this plant last year. It hasnt grown but about7inches. the leaves look like they have rust on them. I'm disappointed with the lack of growth. Don't know why it hasn't grown. I fertilized with miracle grow. still not growing. hydrangeas are everywhere in this area. My daughters hasnt grown either. She did get one flower. hers has rusty looking leaves also. she lives about 3 miles frm me.


On Jun 9, 2003, elijah from San Francisco, CA wrote:

Planted Summer of 2001 in small north facing city garden in San Francisco. It gets intense sun morning and early afternoon then plunged into deep shade from 2pm on. No diseases or pests, always beautiful lush foliage and light blue blooms June-August. Difficult to find in local nurseries but a great plant.


On Jun 5, 2003, TUG from Atlanta, GA wrote:

planted in summer of 2002. survived 8 degree temp. this winter with no damage. Flowers started to appear in mid may and buds are opening now in early June. Plant gets morning sun but protected from hot afternoon sun. It is about 2' high by 3' wide.