A completely new and much enlarged account of Hydrangea is being prepared for publication in 2024. It will include all species previously placed in Decumaria, Dichroa, Pileostegia, Platycrater and Schizophragma.
JMG, July 2023.
The species of this small genus are really too tender for inclusion in this work. The best known of them, at least by name, is D. febrifuga Lour. An ally of this – D. versicolor (Fortune) D.R. Hunt – is figured in Bot. Mag., n.s., t.819, from a plant cultivated by the late Michael Haworth-Booth, which was sent to him as a cutting by a gardener in South Africa, who had obtained it from Hong Kong where it grows naturally. It had in fact been introduced earlier by Fortune, who named the species Adamia versicolor in 1846. As can be seen from the plate, it is decidedly ornamental, its blue-petalled flowers with deeper coloured anthers arranged in large panicles. Like the Hortensia group of Hydrangea, it flowers when quite young and at any time of the year when grown under glass. In his article accompanying the plate in the Botanical Magazine, David Hunt points out that Mr Bean’s reference in the R.H.S. Dictionary of Gardening to D. febrifuga being cultivated outdoors in Cornwall almost certainly refers to a Forrest introduction from Yunnan, which probably does not belong to D. febrifuga in the strict sense.