The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Hydrangea aspera is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 4.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
There is a report that the fresh plant contains the toxin hydrogen cyanide[
]. In small quantities, hydrogen cyanide has been shown to stimulate respiration and improve digestion, it is also claimed to be of benefit in the treatment of cancer. In excess, however, it can cause respiratory failure and even death.
E. Asia - China to the Himalayas.
Scrub and forest in the mountains, 1200 - 2700 metres from Uttar Pradesh to S.W. China and Burma[
]. Dense forests or thickets in valleys or on mountain slopes[
Succeeds in most good soils, including chalk[
].This species is one of the most chalk-tolerant members of the genus[
]. Tolerates most soils[
], thriving in a well-drained loamy soil[
], but resenting dryness at the roots[
]. Succeeds in full sun or semi-shade[
], but if it is grown in a low rainfall area then it requires shade at the hottest part of the day[
]. Does well on very acid soils with a pH around 4.5[
]. The colour of the flowers reflects the pH of the soil the plant is growing in, the flowers are pink in a neutral to alkaline soil and blue in an acid soil. Grows well in an open woodland garden[
]. Although fairly tolerant of soil type, this species is not very easy to grow well, it is best given a dryish soil, it resents winter wet[
Dormant plants are hardy to about -15°c[
]. They are somewhat tender when young, and the young growth of older plants is also susceptible to damage by late frosts[
Plants resent being pruned[
This species is notably susceptible to honey fungus[
The leaves are used as a tea substitute[
]. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.
Seed - surface sow in a greenhouse in spring[
]. Cover the pot with paper until the seed germinates[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 8cm long, mid summer in a frame. Overwinter in a greenhouse and plant out in late spring[
Cuttings of mature wood in late autumn in a frame[
Mound layering in spring. Takes 12 months[
Leaf-bud cuttings of the current seasons growth in a frame[