A genus that contains nearly seventy to seventy five species of flowering plants, hydrangea is commonly found in Southern and Eastern Asia, and also in the Americas. Notable is the fact that presently it has the greatest species diversity in China, Japan and Korea. The plants belonging to this genus are usually shrubs or small trees. Some climb to great heights by climbing up other trees. Most of the cultivated temperate species are deciduous though some of the species happen to be evergreen.
These plants mainly have two types of flower arrangements. Some of the flowers resemble mop heads and can be put under the mophead flowers, while the other type can be placed under the name lacecap flowers. These flowers bear round, flat flower heads. The central core contains the fertile flowers while the outer ring has the showy sterile flowers.
The most common colour of the species coming under this genus of hydrangea NZ is white. However colours like pink, blue, red, dark purple, light purple can also be found in species belonging to this genus. It is said that the colour of the species vary due to the varying pH of the soil in which these plants are growing. The more pink hue is supposedly a result of a more alkaline soil, while higher amounts of iron and alum leads to a more bluish hue.
Uses and some Characteristics
Hydrangeas are primarily plants, which are widely used for ornamental purposes. The structure and shape of the flowers are enduring to the eye, and the variety in the species with their distinct visual differences, some with colour differences are quite beautiful to behold. Hydrangea macrophilla happens to be the most popular of the lot, with its high rate of cultivation. It is the most cultivated, and sometimes the cultivators opt to grow fully sterile flowers for the purpose of beauty.
Hydrangea plants have some toxic elements in them, which do affect if consumed. Intoxication of sorts is done with these plants by smoking them. However, this is risky indeed since not only can the cyanide in it get a person severely ill, it can also result to death. In Japan, Hydrangea serrata is used to make tea. This is a sweet tea, a preparation owing its taste to the leaves of this plant. In Korea, a herbal tea is prepared from the same species. This indeed is a plant, which has its multifaceted uses and thus popular to different places in different ways with different significances.