Hydrangea hirta

Hydrangea hirta that is commonly known as the "nettle-leaved hydrangea" is an endemic species that is native to Japan with ranges from its native country to East Asia.[1] Within the conservation levels this species fits into species the least concerned category.[2] Due to the beauty and sturdiness of the species flowers it can be found outside of its range due to being used for horticultural and landscaping  purposes,and is found in gardens and landscapes in a wide variety of countries including the United Kingdom and the Eastern United States.[3] As well as being a beautiful landscaping species for businesses and residential gardens alike, this species have been used in a wide array of research projects and studies that have been conducted at a variety of  Universities in countries around the world including Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States to name a few.[4]

Hydrangea hirta
Hydrangea hirta 0805
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Cornales
Family: Hydrangeaceae
Genus: Hydrangea
H. hirta
Binomial name
Hydrangea hirta
(Thunb.) Siebold


A small deciduous shrub reaching 3 to 4 ft in height.[5] This shrub contains intricate hairy branches that are twisted and bent at opposite angles.[5] The leaves on this shrub are deep toothed, and are covered in stinging hairs.[6] Hydrangea hirta has alternating leaves that are 5 to 8 cm long with an egg shape that comes to a pointed tip.[6] Yellowing and dropping of the leaves commences in August.[6]  As this shrub gets older the branches and leaves begin to smooth due to the loss of the stinging hairs.[6]

The flowers of this shrub tend to grow in small clusters that are light blue to white in color.[6] An individual flower of this species measures 5 cm in diameter with 5 petals and 10 stamens; this species lacks the ornamental bracts that many other hydrangea species possess.[6]  Each flower is fertile, and contains an urceolate seeds swell in the middle and begins to narrow at the top within the flower clusters that contain a central stem bearing a single terminal flower that develops first, the other flowers in the cluster developing as terminal buds of lateral stems.[7] At the base of a flower pod the typical forming of the whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower in bud is fairly small reaching to be approximately 2 to 3 inches across.[7]


This shrub is native to the mountain ranges of Japan, and extends from the Himalayas through China to Taiwan.[1]  In Japan the Hydrangea Hirta species is located in the cool-temperate rainforest belt, otherwise known as the Montane Temperate Rainforest.[6] This rainforest belt had a range of 1200 meters in elevation in Kyushu, at 1,000 – 1800 meters in Shikoku, 800 – 1650 meters in Chubum and the lowlands of south Hokkaido.[1] An example of where this species can be located  is in the Tsuga Sieboldii Forest that covers the Pacific side of Honshu and Shikoku where this shrub is a species that helps compose the 20% to 40% shrub cover layer in the lower area of the orotemperate belt.[1]  


Hydrangea hirta is a slow growing deciduous species that requires podosolic soils that are more acidic, heavily leached, and moist, with colder and wetter climate conditions.[2] This species is shade tolerant and prefers areas of light shade with partial or full shade.[6] The reproduction of this species is completed by bee pollination with a blooming season that starts in June or late spring and ends in the early summer.[6] However, bee pollination is not the only way this species reproduces, other forms of reproduction for this species includes the  ability to reproduce from the parent stock by the breaking of woody stems, of semi hardwood stems, softwood stems, and the ability to grow new plants from buried aerial stems that will eventually break off and make new plants.[6]


Hydrangea is pronounced hy-DRAIN-juh. Hydrangea is Greek in origin, and comes from Greek hudro- meaning “water” and angeion meaning “a vessel” describing to the shape of the cup shaped fruit and the capsule the fruit is contained in.[8] The hirta portion of this species name means “hairy”, and is pronounced HUR-ta.[9] Another name for this species is Hortensia hirta. Hortensia is a Latinised version of the French given name Hortense, referring to the wife of Jean-André Lepaute.[10] The vernacular name for this species is Viburnum hirtum.[11] While viburnum comes from a Latin origin, and means a small shrub or tree within the temperate and warm regions that bare flat or rounded clusters of white flowers.[11] While hirtum is also Latin in origin, and means “hairy” with a thick growth.[9] In Japan the name for this species is ko-ajisai meaning small hydrangea.[6]


Hydrangea hirta f. albiflora[12]

Hydrangea hirta f. lamalis[12]

Hydrangea hirta var. albiflora[12]


This species has started to be used horticulturally and in landscaping. The seeds for this species can purchased online through a multitude of vendors online, and are commonly found in Europe include the United Kingdom, and parts of the United States.[3] In the European countries that this species can be found in it is notably susceptible to honey fungus.The leaves of this species can be eaten once they have been cooked, and is usually served with rice.[13]

Studies and Research

This species has also been used in a wide variety of studies and research projects. A recent project that was conducted by the Department of Forestry at Kyoto University in Kyoto Japan conducted its research on spatial arrangement of the floral buds of plants which perform functions such as climbing and protection of the terminal parts showing their stems nature with emphasis on herbivory on the shoots that have grown in the new growing season.[14] Another portion of this study was done on the competition from surrounding species and compare the requirements that is needed for the support of the species to grow.[14] A recent article that was published by the University of Chicago Press was on an already conducted research project that included a variety of Hydrangea species, including the Hydrangea hirta that was on the phylogenetic implications of seed morphology the species.[15] This study was conducted on eleven seed characteristics including shape, primary sculpture, secondary sculpture, and appendages.[15] The last example of a research study was done on the genome size and base composition on a variety 16 species and subspecies of hydrangea, including hydrangea hirta.[16] The study showed that natural hybrids between thy hydrangea species are rare.[16] However, this study stated that  there have been natural hybrids found in the Izu Peninsula of Japan between Hydrangea hirta and Hydrangea scadens.[16] However, for breeding programs and or potentially enlarging the genetic diversity in cultivated species this study looked at the natural hybrids evolutionary development and diversification.[16]

Related species

The charity Plants For a Future: earth, plants, people provide a list of closely related species.[2] The species that are closely related to Hydrangea hirta include: Deinanthe bifida (False Hydrangea), Deutzia scabra (Fuzzy Deutzia), Dichroa febrifuga, Hydrangea anomala (Climbing Hydrangea), Hydrangea arborescens (Wild Hydrangea), Hydrangea aspera (Rough-leaved Hydrangea), Hydrangea macrophylla (Bigleaf Hydrangea), Hydrangea paniculata (Panicled Hydrangea), Hydrangea serrata (Mountain Hydrangea), Hydrangea serrata amagiana (Tea of Heaven), Hydrangea serrata thunbergii (Sawtooth Hydrangea), Philadelphus coronarius (Sweet Mock Orange), Philadelphus delavayi (Chinese Mock Orange), Philadelphus lewisii (Indian Arrowwood), Philadelphus pubescens (Hoary Mock Orange), Philadelphus x virginalis (Virginal Mock Orange), Platycrater arguta (Cobweb flower), Schizophragma hydrangeoides (Moonlight Chinese Hydrangea Vine), and Schizophragma integrifolium (Chinese Hydrangea Vine).[2]


  1. ^ a b c d DellaSala, Dominick (2011). Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World. Washington: Island Press. pp. 188–189. ISBN 9781597266758.
  2. ^ a b c d "Hydrangea hirta PFAF Plant Database". www.pfaf.org. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  3. ^ a b "BlueBell Nursery - BlueBell Nursery - Trees & Shrubs - Hydrangea - Hydrangea hirta". www.bluebellnursery.com. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  4. ^ "Hydrangea (Hydrangea hirta) in the Hydrangeas Database - Garden.org". garden.org. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  5. ^ a b Andersson, Folke (2005). Coniferous Forests. Elsevier. ISBN 9780444816276.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Hydrangea hirta | Treasures of Mt. Takao | TAKAO 599 MUSEUM". www.takao599museum.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  7. ^ a b Kubitzki, Klaus (2013-11-11). Flowering Plants. Dicotyledons: Celastrales, Oxalidales, Rosales, Cornales, Ericales. Springer Science & Business Media. ISBN 9783662072578.
  8. ^ "hydrangea | Definition of hydrangea in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  9. ^ a b Quattrocchi, Umberto (1999-11-17). CRC World Dictionary of Plant Names: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology. CRC Press. ISBN 9780849326776.
  10. ^ "hortensia | Definition of hortensia in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  11. ^ a b "viburnum | Definition of viburnum in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  12. ^ a b c "Catalogue of Life : Hydrangea hirta (Thunb.) Siebold". www.catalogueoflife.org. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  13. ^ Tanaka, Tyozaburo (1976). Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing Company.
  14. ^ a b Ishii, Hiroaki; Takeda, Hiroshi (1997-07-01). "Effects of the spatial arrangement of aerial stems and current-year shoots on the demography and growth of Hydrangea hirta in a light-limited environment". New Phytologist. 136 (3): 443–453. doi:10.1046/j.1469-8137.1997.00770.x. ISSN 1469-8137.
  15. ^ a b Hufford, Larry (1995-07-01). "Seed Morphology of Hydrangeaceae and Its Phylogenetic Implications". International Journal of Plant Sciences. 156 (4): 555–580. doi:10.1086/297279. ISSN 1058-5893.
  16. ^ a b c d Cerbah, M.; Mortreau, E.; Brown, S.; Siljak-Yakovlev, S.; Bertrand, H.; Lambert, C. (2001-07-01). "Genome size variation and species relationships in the genus Hydrangea". Theoretical and Applied Genetics. 103 (1): 45–51. doi:10.1007/s001220000529. ISSN 0040-5752.

External links


In the fields of horticulture and botany, the term deciduous (; US: ) means "falling off at maturity" and "tending to fall off", in reference to trees and shrubs that seasonally shed leaves, usually in the autumn; to the shedding of petals, after flowering; and to the shedding of ripe fruit.

Generally, the term deciduous means "the dropping of a part that is no longer needed" and the "falling away [of a part] after its purpose is finished". In plants, it is the result of natural processes. "Deciduous" has a similar meaning when referring to animal parts, such as deciduous antlers in deer, deciduous teeth (baby teeth) in some mammals (including humans); or decidua, the uterine lining that sheds off after birth.


Endemism is the ecological state of a species being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation, country or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. The extreme opposite of endemism is cosmopolitan distribution. An alternative term for a species that is endemic is precinctive, which applies to species (and subspecific categories) that are restricted to a defined geographical area.

H. hirta

H. hirta may refer to:

Hirtopelta hirta, a sea snail species

Hydrangea hirta, a flowering plant species

Hyparrhenia hirta, a grass species


The Himalayas, or Himalaya (), is a mountain range in Asia separating the plains of the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. The range has many of Earth's highest peaks, including the highest, Mount Everest (Nepal/China). The Himalayas include over fifty mountains exceeding 7,200 m (23,600 ft) in elevation, including ten of the fourteen 8,000-metre peaks. By contrast, the highest peak outside Asia (Aconcagua, in the Andes) is 6,961 m (22,838 ft) tall.Lifted by the subduction of the Indian tectonic plate under the Eurasian Plate, the Himalayan mountain range runs west-northwest to east-southeast in an arc 2,400 km (1,500 mi) long. Its western anchor, Nanga Parbat, lies just south of the northernmost bend of Indus river. Its eastern anchor, Namcha Barwa, is just west of the great bend of the Yarlung Tsangpo River (upper stream of the Brahmaputra River). The Himalayan range is bordered on the northwest by the Karakoram and the Hindu Kush ranges. To the north, the chain is separated from the Tibetan Plateau by a 50–60 km (31–37 mi) wide tectonic valley called the Indus-Tsangpo Suture. Towards the south the arc of the Himalaya is ringed by the very low Indo-Gangetic Plain. The range varies in width from 350 km (220 mi) in the west (Pakistan) to 150 km (93 mi) in the east (Arunachal Pradesh). The Himalayas are distinct from the other great ranges of central Asia, although sometimes the term 'Himalaya' (or 'Greater Himalayas') is loosely used to include the Karakoram and some of the other ranges.

The Himalayas are inhabited by 52.7 million people, and are spread across five countries: Bhutan, China, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The Hindu Kush range in Afghanistan and Hkakabo Razi in Myanmar are normally not included, but they are both (with the addition of Bangladesh) part of the greater Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) river system; some of the world's major rivers – the Indus, the Ganges and the Tsangpo-Brahmaputra – rise in the Himalayas, and their combined drainage basin is home to roughly 600 million people. The Himalayas have a profound effect on the climate of the region, helping to keep the monsoon rains on the Indian plain and limiting rainfall on the Tibetan plateau. The Himalayas have profoundly shaped the cultures of the Indian subcontinent, with many Himalayan peaks considered sacred in Hinduism and Buddhism.


Hokkaido (北海道, Hokkaidō, lit. "Northern Sea Circuit"; Japanese: [hokːaꜜidoː] (listen), English: ) is the second largest main island of Japan, and the largest and northernmost prefecture. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu. It was formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso. The two islands are connected by the undersea railway Seikan Tunnel. The largest city on Hokkaido is its capital, Sapporo, which is also its only ordinance-designated city. About 43 kilometres (26 mi) north of Hokkaido lies Sakhalin Island and to the east and northeast are the Kuril Islands, which are administered by Russia, although the four most southerly are claimed by Japan—see Kuril Islands dispute.


Hydrangea (; common names hydrangea or hortensia) is a genus of 70–75 species of flowering plants native to Asia and the Americas. By far the greatest species diversity is in eastern Asia, notably Korea, China, and Japan. Most are shrubs 1 to 3 meters tall, but some are small trees, and others lianas reaching up to 30 m (98 ft) by climbing up trees. They can be either deciduous or evergreen, though the widely cultivated temperate species are all deciduous.Having been introduced to the Azores, H. macrophylla is now very common, particularly on Faial, which is known as the "blue island" due to the vast number of hydrangeas present on the island.‘Hydrangea’ is derived from Greek and means ‘water vessel’, which is in reference to the shape of its seed capsules. The earlier name, Hortensia, is a Latinised version of the French given name Hortense, referring to the wife of Jean-André Lepaute.

Shade tolerance

In ecology, shade tolerance refers to a plant's ability to tolerate low light levels. The term is also used in horticulture and landscaping, although in this context its use is sometimes sloppy, especially with respect to labeling of plants for sale in nurseries.Shade tolerance is a relative term, a complex, multi-faceted property of plants, not a single variable or simple continuum. Different plant species exhibit different adaptations to shade. In fact, a particular plant can exhibit varying degrees of shade tolerance, or even of requirement for light, depending on its history or stage of development.


Shikoku (四国, literally "four provinces") is one of the five main islands of Japan. Shikoku is the second smallest main island after Okinawa. It is 225 km or 139.8 mi long and between 50 and 150 km or 31.1 and 93.2 mi wide. It has a population of 3.8 million (as of 2015, 3.1%). It is located south of Honshu and north east of Kyushu. Shikoku's ancient names include Iyo-no-futana-shima (伊予之二名島), Iyo-shima (伊予島), and Futana-shima (二名島), and its current name refers to the four former provinces that made up the island: Awa, Tosa, Sanuki, and Iyo.

Temperate rainforest

Temperate rainforests are coniferous or broadleaf forests that occur in the temperate zone and receive heavy rainfall.

Temperate rain forests occur in oceanic moist regions around the world: the Pacific temperate rain forests of North American Pacific Northwest as well as the Appalachian temperate rainforest of the Eastern U.S. Sun Belt; the Valdivian temperate rain forests of southwestern South America; the rain forests of New Zealand, Tasmania and southeastern Australia; northwest Europe (small pockets in the British Isles, Iceland, and larger areas in southern Norway and northern Iberia); southern Japan; the Black Sea-Caspian Sea region from the southeasternmost coastal zone of the Bulgarian coast, through Turkey, to Georgia, and northern Iran.

The moist conditions of temperate rain forests generally support an understory of mosses, ferns and some shrubs. Temperate rain forests can be temperate coniferous forests or temperate broadleaf and mixed forests.


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