Vascular – Exotic
Dicotyledonous Trees & Shrubs
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
Terrestrial. Persistent around old homesteads, near water and on forest margins.
Deciduous rounded shrub to about 2 m tall with suckering habit. Leaves tend to be towards the end of the branches and are ovate and up to about 20 x 15 cm, margins coarsely serrate. Flower head either rounded or flat. Usually composed of sterile flowers (especially in cultivation) but can have fertile flowers in centre. Seed capsule to about 5 mm long.
Hydrangea is very familiar to New Zealand gardeners, wild material can appear quite different with flat inflorecences containing sterile flowers.
November, December, January, February, March.
Reproduces by suckering, persisting from cultivation and seed. Viable seed can be produced. Dispersed by people and gravity.
Reason for introduction
Prefers damp shady areas.
hydrangea: From the Greek hydor ‘water’ and aggeion ‘a vessal or vase’, referring to the shape of the seed capsules.
macrophylla: Big leaf
References and further reading
Johnson, A. T. and Smith, H. A (1986). Plant Names Simplified: Their pronunciation, derivation and meaning. Landsman Bookshop Ltd: Buckenhill, UK.