When I posted yesterday’s picture, I hadn’t realised how on-trend I was. In celebration of this being the Year of the Hydrangea, I want to show the difference between mophead and lacecap hydrangeas.
While mopheads and lacecaps are much the same in growth, habit and overall impression, their flowers have different forms. For most of us, this is a matter of style rather than of botany, as we’re not likely to try to grow hydrangeas from seed.
Mophead hydrangeas have round heads packed with individual florets, much as the name implies. They’re the classical hydrangea flower shape, if you will.
Lacecap hydrangeas are made up of two types of florets – a flattish, central cluster of tiny, fertile flowers, surrounded by colourful ring of outer florets, designed to attract pollinators. This mix gives lacecaps their starry, ethereal character.
The bigger flowers that pack the mopheads and grow around the edge of the lacecaps are bracts rather than flowers, but we don’t need to get into that here. It all depends what type of visual treat you prefer… or you might be like me and enjoy them all.
It wouldn’t be a proper celebration without a little more hydrangea inspiration, would it?
Gallery of Mophead Hydrangeas
Gallery Of Lacecap Hydrangeas
When looking at pictures of named hydrangeas, it’s worth bearing in mind that some varieties change colour along the pink – blue line depending on the acidity of the soil, with variations often appearing on the same plant, as seen above. I always think that trying to change the acidity of soil in the long term is a big ask, but if you want to try to change the colour of your flowers, the more acid the soil, the bluer will be the bloom. Hydrangea flowers need to be deprived of aluminium and grown in an alkaline soil to stay pink.
I ought perhaps to mention that mophead and lacecap hydrangeas are types of bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla). Other widely grown forms of hydrangea include panicle flowered ones (H. paniculata), for example, ‘Limelight’;
smooth (H. arborescens), for example, ‘Annabelle’;
and oak leaf (H. quercifolia).
List of Plants of the Year 2020
The Garden Bureau announces their plants of the year in five categories. The full list is:
Annual Plant of the Year 2020 – Lantana
Perennial Plant of 2020 – Lavender
Edible Plant of 2020 – Corn
Bulb of 2020 – Iris
Shrub of 2020 – Hydrangea
The bureau didn’t explain which plant represented which category, no doubt thinking it self-evident, so this is my best guess, although lavender is not perennial in my sweetheart’s Mississippi garden and, in England, where it does grow as a perennial, it’s shrubby in habit.
The Herb Society of America has also announced their herb (actually a species):
Herb of the Year 2020 – rubus spp (bramble or cane fruit such as blackberries, raspberries and dewberries)