Hydrangea macrophylla –Commonly called big leaf hydrangea, is a deciduous shrub with a round growing habit that grows 3-6’ tall and just as wide unless damaged or pruned to be smaller. It features toothed, oval to elongated, dark green leaves (4-8” long) and large clusters of long term blooming summer flowers in either a “lacecap” form (flattened flower clusters of small florets in the middle with sporadic showy four petaled florets usually forming a marginal ring) or “mophead” form (the traditional hydrangea style flower that are globe shape clusters of mostly showy sterile florets). Flowers come in shades of white, cream, pink, purple and blue.
Hydrangea paniculata – the panicle hydrangea is an upright, rapid-growing, deciduous shrub that grows to 8-15ft tall and 7ft wide. It features oval to elongated, dark green leaves and upright, conical flower panicles (6-8” long) that contain both sterile and fertile flowers that bloom from mid-summer into fall. This cultivar is the only one that can be trained into a tree. Flowers come in shades of white and pink, there are many varieties that start off white and fad into a pink.
Hydrangea quercifolia –The oak leaf hydrangea is a broad, upright, multi-stemmed, suckering, deciduous shrub that grows 4-6ft tall with a rounded growing habit. It is known for its oak leaves (3-7 lobed and dark green) and for producing large pyramidal panicles of white flowers in summer. The branches have a peeling bark more so than any other hydrangea.