UACES Facebook Hydrangea arborescens: Smooth Hydrangea
skip to main content

Hydrangea arborescens: Smooth Hydrangea

This small deciduous shrub is native to Eastern and Southeastern U.S., including Arkansas.

The plant is generally 4' tall by 5' wide with pure white flowers in May through early July. This plant must be situated in the shade in Arkansas and requires a moist soil rich in organic matter.

The two most common cultivars in the trade are 'Annabelle' and 'Grandiflora'. Both were selected for more showy flower-heads (inflorescence).  ‘Annabelle’ was found by the Kirkpatrick family in 1910 and brought back their garden in Anna, IL. The plant was passed around to fellow gardeners and made its way to the late Dr. J.C. McDaniel at the University of Illinois. It was introduced to the trade in 1962 and the cultivar name gives tribute to its origin (Anna, IL). A major shift in our long standing thinking about this species took place in 2010 when a pink flowered selection called InvincibelleR Spirit appeared on the market. That was followed by Bella AnnaR in 2011. 


H. arborescens

Picture of H. arborescens flowers and bush

H. a. 'Hayes Starburst'

Hydrangea arborescens Hayes Starburst

H. a. 'Grandiflora'  

Picture of H. a. 'Grandiflora'  bush and flowers

H. a. 'Invincibelle Ruby'

Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle Ruby

H. a. 'Invincibelle Spirit'

Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle Spirit

H. a. 'Incrediball'

Hydrangea arborescens Incrediball

H. a. 'Annabelle'  -  found in Anna, IL

Picture of H. a. 'Annabelle' flowers and bush

H. a. 'Annabelle' close-up

Hydrangea arborescens Annabelle close-up

H. a. 'Grandiflora' close-up

Picture of H. a. 'Grandiflora'  flowers close-up

H. a. 'Invincibelle Mini MauvetteI'

Hydrangea arborescens Invincibelle Mini MauvetteI

H. a. 'Bella Anna'

 Hydrangea arborescens Bella Anna

H. a. 'Invincibelle Limetta'

Hydrangea arborescens Invinicibelle Limetta