by John R.
Our pick this week goes to one of our all-time favorite shrubs for the landscape- Hydrangea quercifolia, commonly known as Oakleaf Hydrangea. This hardy, Southeastern US native boasts four seasons of interest, long bloom time, and will tolerate anything from sun to shade. Long, white, conical blooms emerge in late spring and last all summer eventually turning brown to create a dried flower-like arrangement against the deep burgundy red and purple colors of their fall foliage. Hydrangea quercifolia‘s blooms make great cut flowers, both as fresh or dried. Late in the fall and through winter when leaves have dropped they display their beautiful tan, exfoliating bark. They bloom on their old, woody growth so must be pruned immediately after flowering. With so many new cultivars available, ranging anywhere from 3 to 8 feet in height and width, you shouldn’t have any problem finding one to fit into your garden.