Hydrangea

Hydrangea heteromalla - Himalayan hydrangea

Though it has long been grown in Finland, the Himalayan hydrangea has never been widely used. It flowers about the middle of summer, earlier than most other hydrangeas. It can best be distinguished from the Pee Gee hydrangeas (H. paniculata) by its flat white inflorescences. The large sterile outer flowers may be reddish. In full light the Himalayan hydrangea is leafy to ground level but in shadier spots it tends to grow higher. As a free-growing shrub it is rounded, to about 2-3m high.

Hydrangea aspera var. sargentiana - Sargent’s hydrangea

 

The large, bright green leaves of Sargent’s hydrangea are covered in such dense hairs that when touched they feel almost like a Persian carpet. These special leaves and the exfoliating bark of the branches make this shrub almost ugly, but nevertheless extremely fine. Few plants stand out so much from their environment. Unfortunately, winter hardiness in Finland is poor. The shrub usually freezes down to the snow line, so seldom flowers.