Smooth Hydrangea, Wild Hydrangea 'Hayes Starburst'

Hydrangea arborescens

Family: Hydrangeaceae (hy-drain-jee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Hydrangea (hy-DRAIN-juh) (Info)
Species: arborescens (ar-bo-RES-senz) (Info)
Cultivar: Hayes Starburst
» View all varieties of Hydrangeas


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


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)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer




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)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

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

Water Requirements:

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

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

, (2 reports)

Anniston, Alabama

Lilburn, Georgia

Crystal Lake, Illinois

Homewood, Illinois

Spring Lake, Michigan

Duncannon, Pennsylvania

Arlington, Tennessee

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Aug 6, 2011, womanonamission from Homewood, IL wrote:

I purchased this plant from Joy Creek Nursery in Oregon and had it delivered in fall. I don't think I got it planted until late September early October after it had been sort of sitting in my nursery area not getting much attention. I planted these in a bed I'd added quite a bit of leaves and compost to and hoped that the plant would survive the winter. In spring the daffodils in this bed were like a small forest so initially I thought I'd lost the three Hayes Starburst I'd planted. Much to my surprise and after a bit of searching I found these plants growing quite well. Not only had they survived the late planting, but the more than 3 feet of snow this past winter! They had not grown significantly, but they are doing well. I probably should have removed the blooms to get the plants... read more


On May 17, 2010, Soriana from Alexandria, VA wrote:

This shrub does have floppy stems, but this makes it particularly well suited to slopes (mine are planted on a slight slope) where it is gorgeous. Easily propagated by layering. In my experience very little care is required.


On Oct 14, 2009, hortusthird from Spring Lake, MI wrote:

Weak stems. Very floppy. Beautiful flowers.


On Sep 11, 2009, N2tropicAL from Anniston, AL wrote:

i discovered this plant in my garden here in central alabama. the plant is very heat tolerant surviving the sweltering summers of central alabama...however, the plant does require sharp drainage. the native soil pH is 4.8. i am located in z8a. just like hydrangea quercifolia, this plant doesnt always thrive or look its best in container conditions. i suggest planting on a slope in a high organic matter soil.


On Jan 18, 2007, wooffi from Arlington, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

Hay's Starburst is really a wonderful bloomer, we had them bloom on tiny cuttings. The pictures are from these blooms.

We also proudly hosted Hayes Jackson, (who discovered this plant) last year in our nursery.


On Jul 17, 2006, misslucy45 from Arlington, WA wrote:

This is not the plant that I want. Does anyone know of a "shooting star" hydrangea? thank you


On Dec 10, 2004, lmelling from Ithaca, NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

'Hayes Starburst' is a relatively new cultivar that was discovered by Hayes Jackson, Anniston, AL as a self-sown seedling in the garden. The habit is more compact than the species and only grows to 3' to 4' high and wide at maturity. The leaves are narrow, oval, shiny, sharply toothed, wavy margined and dark green. The flowerheads are comprised of sterile, mutiple-sepaled white flowers that in photographs, appear flatter but tapering in several directions rather than the globose heads of the species. Some of the flowers look almost 'starlike' in appearance in the photographs.

Michael A. Dirr reports that the plant appears "persnickety" in his garden and may require cooler conditions that zone 7b. Information from "Hydrangeas for American Gardens," by Michael A. Dirr (20... read more