The climbing hydrangea, with its beautiful flowers, is native to eastern Asia. In the wild it grows in lush moist conifer and broadleaf forests. It is a large vine, fastening onto support using climbing roots growing from its forks. Usually it is found either as a large mat spreading over the ground or rising high up tree trunks, fastening itself onto rough bark, usually on the shady side. After a slow start, the vines can grow a metre per year. The species has attractive white flowers in flat corymbs 10-20cms across, which have tens of small fertile flowers at their centre, surrounded by a narrow edging of showy sterile ones.
At Mustila specimens can be found particularly in Alppiruusulaakso (Rhododendron Valley), bringing to the area an exotic luxuriance. They come into flower in early July, immediately after the rhododendrons. Their habit has two distinct components: the vine rises vertically up the trunk while the flowering branches curve out and downwards. With its showy, large white inflorescences, climbing hydrangea also has attractive copper-coloured autumn foliage. In winter the dry flowers add variety to the winter scene.