Hydrangea Species, Silver Leaf Hydrangea

Hydrangea arborescens subsp. radiata

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrangea (hy-DRAIN-juh) (Info)
Species: arborescens subsp. radiata
Synonym:Hydrangea radiata
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4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


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)

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:

Partial to Full Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall


Grown for foliage


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

Properly cleaned, seed can be successfully stored

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 9, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

There are also several sub-species of H. arborescens, like 'radiata', which produce more ray-flowers than other wild arborescens; and 'discolor' (which has more fertile flowers and may only have a couple showy sepals). Subspecies 'discolor' grows at lower elevations than subspecies 'radiata'. All grow in cool, moist habitats in shade.

In sub-species 'radiata', the upper surface of the leaves has hairs along the veins. The underside of the leaf is more of a silver-white, and covered with a thick fabric of white hairs that microscopically appear woven like a carpet. This sub-species is also not as comfortable in heat or during times of drought, it is also more difficult to root from cuttings.

There are several forms of ssp. radiata in cultivation, like 'Robusta'... read more


On Jun 4, 2004, OhioBreezy from Dundee, OH (Zone 5b) wrote:

This is the wild form with the "flat-top" heads of flower clusters, unlike the rounded ball form. It grows wild around here and is just pretty in the landscape, doesn't take over, but it does spread by runners. I really like this in my gardens, it dies back to ground each year and spring it shoots up again here in my OH garden. (zone5-6)