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Mr. Smarty Plants - Wild hydrangeas north of Atlanta GA

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Thursday - June 29, 2006

From: Atlanta, GA
Region: Southeast
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources
Title: Wild hydrangeas north of Atlanta GA
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

There are wild hydrangeas in my area - just north of Atlanta GA. There is a particular type, though, that I have only seen in the more mountainous counties of GA. The flower cluster is flat, with tiny white flowers, and also with larger also typically 4 white flowers, one at each of the "corners," so to speak, of the disc shaped umbel. The larger flat flowers at corners are pretty much what size you'd see in a hybrid hydrangea, whereas the many flowers that make up the umbel are tiny. Also I am looking for where I might order or go buy the following: sweet William (phlox maculata), phlox sublata (moss phlox); smooth phlox (glaberrima?), downy phlox (pilosa), blue phlox (divaricata). Also fire pink, round lobed hepatica, wild ginger, and purple fringed orchis. Also wild lilies, turks cap, tiger lily, michigan lily (michiganese), and especially wood lily (philadelphicum). I really appreciate it. There used to be someplace called Wayside Gardens in one of the Carolina's -- I don't know whether it still exists.

ANSWER:

The following are the four North American Hydrangeas that are native to Georgia. From your description I am not sure which one you are seeing in the mountains.

Wild hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens)
Oakleaf hydrangea (H. quercifolia)
Silverleaf hydrangea (H. radiata)
Ashy hydrangea (H. cinerea)

You can search in our National Suppliers Directory for nurseries or seed companies in your state or region that specialize in native plants. Many of those listed have web addresses that show lists of available plants and/or seeds for sale. Wayside Gardens appears to be in business still in Hodges, South Carolina.
 

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