The Hydrangea flower genus is a home for more than 70 different species of plants. Generally speaking, they can be divided into categories by some characteristics. Judging by the form of the head of the flower, there are (roughly) two types – one that has the pom-pom like cluster of florets and the other – where the florets are placed like lace on the top, irregularly. The colour of this plant’s blossoms is usually white. However, they sometimes accumulate aluminium from the soil they’re grown into (one of the very few species that can do this) and are instead light or dark blue. That happens in acidic soils mostly. In alkaline soils they become pink or even purple. The plant reaches from 91cm to 182cm in height.
The name of the flower itself has a history. It is a morph of the Greek for “water” and “vessel” (hydro and angos) and is given to the plant mainly because of the relation to water of this plant as well as because of the form of the seed’s capsule. It is formed in such a way that the rainwater is collected inside.
Being over hydrated is not an issue for this plant, but when grown in a pot or a garden, it should be made certain that they need excessive amounts of water and don’t take extremely low temperatures, although they might just barely survive. This is mainly because of the quantities of water that the flowers need and absorb.
The plant’s flowers and leaves are often used as a tea for soothing stomach ache caused by bladder stones as well as a natural diuretic. In Japan, the florets are placed inside of the water during the ceremonial bath for the celebration of Buddha’s birthday in April. In Europe and other western parts of the world, the prettiness of the plant rather than its usefulness is more prominent as they are one of the flowers that can be seen in wedding bouquets often and are regarded as a perfect accessory for a big garden or façade.
Hydrangea flower: Native and Significences
Native to the Asian continent, especially China and Japan, Hydrangea is a flower that has many significances and a lot of stories have it incorporated into their plots. In Japan, the flower is often related to the humidity and rains. The Japanese people use many flowers as family crests, but these are never to be seen. This is because the main meaning in the country is “inconsistency in bloom” and inconsistency is definitely not a good family trait. Naturally, in many places they are accepted as also symbols of abundance.
In Victorian times, people believed that sending one of these flowers would set an alarm off to the receiver, telling them that they have been boasting too much lately. In many regions giving a hydrangea still means a hint that the person who’s on the receiving end is too vain. Alternatively, nowadays in the western civilization they are given as a gift for gratitude on Mother’s day and Easter. According to folklore in some regions, it is believed that this flower holds magical properties and can release a person from a curse (mostly curses for bad luck or for bad love).