Let's Dance Moonlight Hydrangea
Hydrangea macrophylla 'Let's Dance Moonlight'
Let's Dance Moonlight Hydrangea offers large, vividly colored mophead flowers in summer, with the added bonus of great fall foliage color. Blooms every year on both old and new wood. Soil pH affects blossom color; blue in highly acidic soils and lilac to pink in slightly acidic to alkaline soils And sturdy stems keep the flower heads upright. They make a great cut flower for bouquets that last for days. When dried, the arrangements can last almost forever. Fun Fact: The Let's Dance® series of re-blooming hydrangeas including Let's Dance Moonlight Hydrangea were developed in Michigan. They went through a gauntlet of brutal treatment to ensure that they would still create new wood flower buds during the growing season, when it counts. They were bred to especially withstand cold weather. So if you have cold winters where you are, consider these shrubs a must for your garden!
History and introduction of Hydrangeas:
The hydrangea was first cultivated in Japan, but ancient hydrangea fossils dating back to 40-65 million years ago have been discovered in North America. Hydrangeas didn’t appear in Europe until 1736 when a colonist brought a North American varietal to England. The oldest fossil finds were found in North America , namely in Alaska , Oregon and California , they were dated at 40 to 65 million years ago , more recent discoveries in China , Japan , Taiwan and the Philippines prove that the Hydrangea have been on this planet long before the arrival of men . In China and Japan they already cultivated Hydrangea’s many thousands of years ago , in North America the medicine men used the roots of H.arborescens as a means to drive out kidney stones and to combat bronchitis. The first Hydrangea arborescens ( North American species) was introduced in England around 1736 from Pennsylvania by Peter Collison. Grovonius gave the plant in 1739 in his work ” Flora Virginica ‘ for the first time the name: Hydrangea . The still famous botanist Carolus Linnaeus , to whom we owe our current plant name system ( binomial nomenclature ) has mentioned already in 1753 the name Hydrangea arborescens . The name hortensia , in Belgium , the Netherlands and France still commonplace, was first used by Philibert Commerson , botanist and plant collector, who found some Hydrangeas in Chinese gardens ( 1767 ) and it took to France , he named the plants: Hortensia opuloides or even Hortensia hortensis . Hydrangeas from Japan Since 1639 it was forbidden for foreigners to travel around in Japan, the only contact was by the island of Dejima in Nagasaki Bay and it was here that Carl Peter Thunberg , a pupil of Linnaeus , settled in 1775 and succeeded to acquire five hydrangeas from the mainland, he later called these plants : Viburnum macrophylla … Sir Joseph Banks brought in 1788 a Hydrangea from Japan with him and gave it to Kew Gardens , he called the plant: Hydrangea hortensis … Doctor and botanist Philipp Franz von Siebold succeeded around 1823 in two trips to the Japanese mainland and toke numerous plants with him. Thanks to his good work in the eye clinic and the gratitude of the patients , he managed to acquire many new plant species ( Hydrangeas … hostas , ) When he was expelled in 1829 , for allegedly spying for the Russians , and had to leave Japan, he brought with him various kinds , including H. Involucrata , H. anomala ssp . petiolaris ( climbing hydrangea ) , H. Hirta , H.paniculata ….. Partly due to independance war between Belgium and the Nederlands in 1830 , when he arrived in Antwerp harbour he had to leave behind, 260 plants, bulbs and tubers in the botanical garden of Ghent . Around this time ( 1830) the Hydrangea macrophylla got its present botanical name : Hydrangea macrophylla . Plant hunters seek new varieties. Around 1879 the famous English nursery Veitch , sent the plant hunter Charles Maries to China and Japan , he would find two hydrangeas and bring back , a Hydrangea with flat flowers (lacecap) he called H.macrophylla ‘Mariesii’ and a spherical type , he called Hydrangea macrophylla ‘ Rosea’ . Around 1860 the Russian botanist Carl Johann Maximowicz was sent out by the Tsar of Russia to Japan to discover plants and he would eventually bring more than 400 plants to the gardens of St. Petersburg , later in 1867 he published his Revisio Hydrangearum Asiae Orientalis . Species such as Hydrangea. anomala , H.aspera and H. heteromalla were introduced during the 19th century in Europe, thanks to two enthusiastic botanists , namely Francis Buchanan Hamilton and Nathaniel Wallich . While nurseries from Asia , U.S. and Europe in the course of the twentieth century brought mainly numerous cultivars of Hydrangea macrophylla on the market , enthusiastic planthunters and botanists went out in nature discovering new species. From Belgium Robert and Jelena de Belder brought along lots of seeds of numerous expeditions , which were brought to growth and later subsequently crossed. In France, Robert and Corinne Mallet devoted themselves with great enthusiasm , to the genus Hydrangea and after so many expeditions founded the Shamrock collection in Varengeville – sur-mer (Normandy) and released numerous interesting books and publications Hydrangeas such as Hydrangea Sweet Summer are primarily used for landscaping because their petals contain low levels of cyanide, making them unfit for consumption. The exception is hydrangea serrata which Buddhists drink in a sweet tea as part of a cleansing ritual. The tea is said to help treat autoimmune disorders as well as malaria, kidney stones and enlarged prostate. In Western culture the hydrangea has many different uses. Native Americans used the root as a diuretic and the bark as pain relief specifically for muscle pain and burns. Traditionally, hydrangeas are also a polite way of telling a suitor you are uninterested. Now they are beautiful garden decoration that line many houses in suburban America. The etymological meaning of hydrangea stems from the Greek words for water, hydros and jar, angos. The name comes from the constant moisture required to keep the flowers happy, healthy and blooming. In Japan, they are said to be a sign of apology or gratitude because an emperor gave them as apologies to his maidens. To the opposite effect, hydrangeas have a negative sentiment in Europe where they were used to declare arrogance. They also became synonymous with frigidity in the Medieval ages because it was believed that young women who grew them would never find husbands we however do not believe this.
- Pink – love, sincere emotions
- Blue – forgiveness, regret and rejection
- White – purity, grace, abundance and bragging
- Purple – abundance, wealth and royalty