Hydrangea anomala ‘Petiolaris’

Botanical Name: Hydrangea anomala ‘Petiolaris’

Common Name:
Climbing Hydrangea

Plant Hardiness: Zone 4

Flower: The 6 to 10 inch lace cap flower has showy white sterile flowers ringing the smaller fertile flowers

Bloom Time: Late spring into summer – June into July

Foliage: Shiny dark green leaves are attractive all summer but only rarely turn yellow in the fall

Fruit: A small capsule that is not ornamentally significant

Habit: A climbing vine that attaches with aerial rootlets. Branches are stiff and irregular, giving a strong depth of field in appearance

Size: Rambles over walls and climbs up structures. Perhaps 60 feet when climbing tall trees

Sun Exposure: Part sun to full shade. Can tolerate full sun but may suffer if it is a drier location

Native Habitat: Parts of eastern Asia

Other Features: The bark exfoliates making this a true four season plant as the stems are quite attractive all winter



Description: This is a very slow growing (when young) clinging, woody vine. It is deciduous and the vine itself is not too attractive in the winter when the leaves are gone. But in the summer, the shiny leaves and the large white flowers that are produced after the plant has reached some size are truly magnificent. I’ve seen an ancient plant which has reached a height of over 50 feet growing on a larch tree at Inverewe Gardens in Scotland. It is almost impossible to relate this specimen to the plants we sell in gallon containers.

Climbing Hydrangea does quite well in semi-shade and will actually tolerate almost total shade. A native of China and Japan, it is hardy enough for most areas of New England. Good soil and moderate fertilization will help it grow fairly rapidly once it gets started, but don’t expect it to put on too much growth the first few years. We have been listing this as Hydrangea petiolaris but decided to get on the ball and do it right.