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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

This native shrub is 3-8' tall, producing unbranched canes that are erect. Young tips of the central cane are light green and sometimes pubescent, otherwise the cane is woody with gray to brown bark. With age, this bark tears off into multicolored sheets, providing it with a tattered appearance. Pairs of opposite leaves occur at intervals along each cane. These leaves are about 4-6" long and 3-5" across; they are oval-ovate or oval-cordate and serrated along their margins. The upper surface of each leaf is medium to dark green and hairless, while the lower surface is pale green and either hairless or sparsely pubescent. The slender petioles are 2-6" long and either hairless or pubescent. Each cane terminates in a flat-headed panicle (or compound cyme) of flowers about 3-6" across. In the center of the panicle, there are numerous fertile flowers that are very small in size, while around the outer margin of the panicle there are a few sterile flowers that are larger in size (about ¾" across). However, sterile flowers are occasionally absent in some populations of wild plants. Each fertile flower has a short light green calyx with insignificant teeth, 5 tiny white petals less than 1/8" long, 8 or 10 stamens with long filaments, and a pistil with a pair of styles. The fertile flowers are either greenish white or cream-colored. Each sterile flower has 3-4 petaloid bracts that are large and white. The branches of the panicle are dull cream-colored and usually pubescent. The blooming period occurs from early to mid-summer. The fertile flowers are in bloom for only a short time, while the sterile flowers remain attractive until the fall. Each fertile flower is replaced by a small 2-celled seed capsule about 1/8" across that has a pair of tiny curved horns on its upper surface. The sides of the capsule are ribbed. Each capsule contains many tiny seeds that are flattened; they are small enough to be blown about by the wind or carried by currents of water. The root system can develop vegetative offsets from underground runners. As a result, colonies of plants are often formed.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Distribution

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Wild Hydrangea is occasional to locally common in southern Illinois, uncommon in central Illinois, and largely absent from the northern section of the state. Habitats include shaded ravines, rocky stream banks in wooded areas, bottoms of bluffs and cliffs, low rocky ledges, and similar habitats in wooded areas. Wild Hydrangea is found in high quality natural areas. It is also cultivated in gardens.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Exotic

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: The native range of this shrub stretches from southern New York to Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Oklahoma, south to Louisiana and Florida. This has been introduced to Massachusetts, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and probably elsewhere.

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Ecology

Habitat

Range and Habitat in Illinois

Wild Hydrangea is occasional to locally common in southern Illinois, uncommon in central Illinois, and largely absent from the northern section of the state. Habitats include shaded ravines, rocky stream banks in wooded areas, bottoms of bluffs and cliffs, low rocky ledges, and similar habitats in wooded areas. Wild Hydrangea is found in high quality natural areas. It is also cultivated in gardens.
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Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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Associations

Faunal Associations

The fertile flowers offer nectar and pollen to a wide range of visiting insects. These visitors include bumblebees, little carpenter bees (Ceratina spp.), Halictid bees, masked bees (Hylaeus spp.), miscellaneous wasps, mosquitoes, Syrphid flies, thick-headed flies, Muscid flies, dance flies (Empis spp.), tumbling flower beetles, and long-horned beetles. The foliage of Wild Hydrangea is eaten by the caterpillars of Darapsa versicolor (Hydrangea Sphinx) and Olethreutes ferriferana (Hydrangea Leaf-Tier Moth). Some polyphagous insects occasionally feed on this shrub; these species include the thrips Echinothrips americanus, the seed bug Kleidocerys resedae, the aphids Aphis rumicis and Aphis citricola, and the larvae of the long-horned beetle Stenocorus cinnamopterus. White-Tailed Deer occasionally browse on the canes and leaves.
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Flower-Visiting Insects of Wild Hydrangea in Illinois

Hydrangea arborescens (Wild Hydrangea)
(Most bees suck nectar or collect pollen; flies and beetles suck nectar or feed on pollen; other insects suck nectar; some observations are from Krombein et al., Knab, and MacRae as indicated below, otherwise observations are from Robertson)

Bees (long-tongued)
Apidae (Bombini): Bombus griseocallis cp fq, Bombus pensylvanica cp; Anthophoridae (Ceratinini): Ceratina dupla dupla sn cp; Megachilidae (Trypetini): Heriades leavitti cp

Bees (short-tongued)
Halictidae (Halictinae): Augochlora purus sn cp, Halictus confusus cp, Lasioglossum cinctipes sn cp, Lasioglossum imitatus sn cp fq, Lasioglossum pectoralis sn cp, Lasioglossum truncatus sn cp, Lasioglossum versatus sn cp fq; Colletidae (Colletinae): Colletes nudus (Kr); Colletidae (Hylaeinae): Hylaeus affinis sn cp fq

Wasps
Sphecidae (Crabroninae): Lestica confluentus sn

Flies
Culicidae: Toxorhynchites rutilus septentrionalis sn (Knb); Syrphidae: Allograpta obliqua sn fp, Eristalis tenax sn fp, Eupeodes americanus sn fp, Paragus tibialis sn fp, Sphaerophoria contiqua sn fp, Syritta pipiens sn fp, Toxomerus geminatus sn fp; Empididae: Empis clausa sn fq; Conopidae: Stylogaster biannulata sn, Thecophora occidensis sn fq; Tachinidae: Archytas analis sn; Muscidae: Graphomya americana sn, Musca domestica sn, Neomyia cornicina sn

Skippers
Hesperiidae: Epargyreus clarus sn

Moths
Zygaenidae: Harrisina americana sn

Beetles
Buprestidae: Anthaxia flavimana (McR); Cerambycidae: Euderces picipes sn fp, Typocerus vulutina sn; Mordellidae: Mordella marginata sn fq, Mordellistena ornata sn, Mordellistena pubescens sn fq

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Population Biology

Number of Occurrences

Note: For many non-migratory species, occurrences are roughly equivalent to populations.

Estimated Number of Occurrences: > 300

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Hydrangea arborescens

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Hydrangea arborescens

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 3
Specimens with Barcodes: 10
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: NNA - Not Applicable

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Cultivation

The preference is dappled sunlight to light shade, consistently damp conditions, and a moderately acidic to neutral soil that contains some decaying organic matter. To prevent a straggly appearance, this shrub can be cut back during the fall. A humid area with some protection from the wind is desirable.
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Economic Uses

Uses: MEDICINE/DRUG

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Wikipedia

Hydrangea arborescens

Hydrangea arborescens, commonly known as smooth hydrangea, wild hydrangea, or sevenbark, is a species of flowering plant in the family Hydrangeaceae. It is a small- to medium-sized, deciduous shrub up to 3 m (10 ft) tall that is native to the eastern United States.[2]

Range/Habitat[edit]

Smooth hydrangea is widely distributed across the eastern United States—from southern New York to the panhandle of Florida, west to eastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas. It is mainly found in moist soils under a hardwood forest canopy and is often common along woodland road banks and streams.[3] It is common in the Delaware River Valley and in the Appalachian Mountains.[2][4]

Taxonomy[edit]

At one time both ashy hydrangea (Hydrangea cinerea) and silverleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea radiata) were considered subspecies of smooth hydrangea.[5] However, most taxonomists now consider them to be separate species.[2][6]

Characteristics[edit]

The inflorescence of smooth hydrangea is a corymb. The showy, sterile flowers are usually absent or if present they are usually less than 1 cm in diameter.[2] Flowering occurs May to July. Fruit is a ribbed brown capsule about 2 mm long; many are produced.

The leaves of smooth hydrangea are large (8 to 18 cm long), opposite, serrated, ovate, and deciduous. The lower leaf surface is glabrous or with inconspicuous fine hairs, appearing green; trichomes of the lower surface are restricted to the midrib and major veins.

The stem bark has a peculiar tendency to peel off in several successive thin layers with different colors, hence the common name "sevenbark".[4]

Smooth hydrangea can spread rapidly by stolons to form colonies.[7]

Uses[edit]

This attractive native shrub is often cultivated for ornamental use.[8] 'Annabelle' is the best known cultivar of this species; it is one of the most cold hardy of the hydrangeas. The cultivar ‘Grandiflora’ has flowers that resemble snowballs, similar to Viburnum plicatum.

Smooth hydrangea was used medicinally by Native Americans, and later, by early settlers for treatment of kidney and bladder stones.[9][10]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "USDA Natural Resources Conservation Services: Plant Profiles. ''Hydrangea arborescens'' L". Plants.usda.gov. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Weakley, Alan S. 2008 (working draft). Flora of Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, northern Florida, and surrounding areas. University of North Carolina Herbarium". Herbarium.unc.edu. 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  3. ^ Lance, Ron. 2004 Woody Plants of the southeastern United States: A winter guide. The University of Georgia Press. 456 p.
  4. ^ a b "Purdue University: Horticulture and Landscape Architecture. Smooth Hydrangea". Hort.purdue.edu. 1998-04-03. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  5. ^ McClintock, E. 1957. A monograph of the genus Hydrangea. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 29: 147-256.
  6. ^ Pilatowski, Ronald E. A taxonomic study of the Hydrangea arborescens complex. Castanea 47: 84-98.
  7. ^ "Missouri Botanical Garden: ''Hydrangea arborescens''". Mobot.org. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  8. ^ Dirr, Michael A. hydrangeas for American gardens. Timber Press. 240 p.
  9. ^ "Mrs. M. Grieve. A Modern Herbal. ''Hydrangea arborescens''". Botanical.com. Retrieved 2014-06-30. 
  10. ^ Plants for a Future: Hydrangea arborescens .[dead link]
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