Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Pink/Purple Lace

It was a tough pick for this week's FFF, but took Mrs. Phactor's advice.  You may get to see one of the other contenders later on.  This particular shrub is a variety of Hydrangea macrophylla generally referred to as a purple lace top.  It's very pretty in flower and we've seen some marvelous displays especially where you get to look down upon the top of the shrubs, and then of course there is the color. This is not one of our favorites though because it only flowers on old wood (last year's aerial shoots) and they generally do not survive the winter, so no flowers.  Think of this as a purple barometer of winter; if mild, you get purple.  So not reliable here in the upper Midwest, but our winters are getting milder.  Here the flowers are arrayed in a flat-headed corymb with the large tepaled attractive flowers around the outside and the smaller fertile flowers in the middle.  Our shrub is not the most robust, so these can be bigger and fuller.  Our soil pH is not very acid, so the flowers are not as blue-purple as they could be at a lower pH, so these are a bit pink.

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