Mophead Hydrangea

Hydrangea macrophylla

''Hydrangea macrophylla'' is a species of flowering plant in the family Hydrangeaceae, native to Japan. It is a deciduous shrub growing to 2 m tall by 2.5 m broad with large heads of pink or blue flowers in summer and autumn. Common names include bigleaf hydrangea, French hydrangea, lacecap hydrangea, mophead hydrangea, penny mac and hortensia.
Bigleaf Hydrangea  Austria,Bigleaf hydrangea,Geotagged,Hydrangea macrophylla

Appearance

The term ''macrophylla'' means large- or long-leaved. The opposite leaves can grow to 15 cm in length. They are simple, membranous, orbicular to elliptic and acuminate. They are generally serrated.

The inflorescence of ''Hydrangea macrophylla'' is a corymb, with all flowers placed in a plane or hemisphere, or even a whole sphere in cultivated forms. Two distinct types of flowers can be identified: central, non-ornamental, pentamerous ones, and peripheral, ornamental, tetramerous ones. The latter have sterile pistils with fertile stamen. The four sepals of decorative flowers have colors ranging from pale pink to red fuchsia purple to blue. The non-decorative flowers have five small greenish sepals and five small petals. Flowering lasts from early summer to early winter. The fruit is a subglobose capsule.
Laelius et Hortensia What can I say?
Oh Theseus, you know little of Shakespeare's fiery genius.
You cannot excuse his exceeding the bounds of probability,
but remember, his creations are glowing, though inconsistent.
Forgive the little that is exceptionable.
  Geotagged,Hydrangea macrophylla,The Netherlands

Distribution

''Hydrangea macrophylla'' is native to Japan and possibly Korea. It is reported from seaside habitats as well as mountains in Japan, from Honshu southwards. This species has naturalized in China, New Zealand and the Americas.
White Bigleaf Hydrangea The flower color of a bigleaf hydrangea is determined by the soil pH and by the amount of aluminum in the soil (unless it is a white-flowering variety, which has no pigment and is not affected). Bigleaf hydrangea,Geotagged,Hydrangea macrophylla,The Netherlands

Uses

Amacha is a Japanese beverage made from fermented leaves of ''Hydrangea macrophylla'' var. ''thunbergii''.

''Hydrangeae Dulcis Folium'' is a drug made from the fermented and dried leaves of ''H. macrophylla var. thunbergii'' with possible antiallergic and antimicrobial properties. It also has a hepatoprotective activity by suppression of D-galactosamine-induced liver injury in vitro and in vivo.

''Hydrangea macrophylla'' is included in the Tasmanian Fire Service's list of low flammability plants, indicating that it is suitable for growing within a building protection zone.

Leaf extracts of ''Hydrangea macrophylla'' are being investigated as a possible source of new chemical compounds with antimalarial activity. Hydrangeic acid from the leaves is being investigated as a possible anti-diabetic drug as it significantly lowered blood glucose, triglyceride, and free fatty acid levels in laboratory animals.

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