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Oakleaf hydrangeas - Hydrangea quercifolia

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Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

Oakleaf hydrangeas are native to the southeastern region of the United States. Known for their large leaves resembling the distinctive leaves of oak trees, most varieties have large white or cream conical flowers that change color as the season progresses to pink, then burgundy, then chocolate brown. They seem to flower best with lots of heat.

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Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

This white oakleaf flower in high season glows against a background of blue mopheads.

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Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

This oakleaf hydrangea flower is just starting to change from white to pink.

The change from light pink to medium pink to deep pink is fairly rapid. The final color is shown below.

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Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

By the time the flower has become chocolate brown, the foliage is starting to take on fall colors.

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Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

This variety is H.q. 'Snow Queen'.

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Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

The chartreuse foliage of H.q. 'Little Honey' brightens a dark corner at the JC Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

The flowers were just emerging in May, but the foliage has already made a big impact in the garden.

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Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison

H.q. 'Little Honey' has a graceful compact habit and can look quite attractive at the front of a flower bed or bordering a walkway.

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Copyright 2011 Joan Harrison