Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Hydrangea quercifolia

Oakleaf hydrangea, Oak-leaf hydrangea

Hydrangeaceae (Hydrangea Family)

Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf hydrangea)
Smith, R.W.
A mound-shaped shrub, 3-12 ft. tall. Multiple stems are sparingly branched with picturesque canes. Older stems are exfoliating to reveal a rich, brown inner bark. The showy inflorescence of greenish flowers, turns white then purplish and persists on the bush until mid-winter. The foliage, shaped something like that of red oak, becomes colorful in fall.

Image Gallery:

16 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf: Green
Size Class: 6-12 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Green , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul


USA: AL , FL , GA , LA , MS , NC , SC , TN , DC
Native Distribution: FL Panhandle & GA to LA
Native Habitat: Damp woods; river banks

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
Soil Description: Moist, fertile, well-drained soils.
Conditions Comments: Susceptible to sunscald, chlorosis in alkaline soils, and winter dieback. Many weak, brittle canes are easily broken in wind and ice. Forms colonies from a shallow root system. Canes can be cut to the ground every two or three years to keep the shrub smaller, but if the canes are allowed to grow, the naturally peeling bark is attractive. Pest free. Prune immediately after flowering.


Use Wildlife: Low.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Last Update: 2015-03-17