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Hydrangeaceae: Hydrangea Family Plant Identification Characteristics.

Hydrangeaceae
Plants of the Hydrangea Family

      The Hydrangea family includes mostly bushes with showy flowers. You might have a mock orange growing in your yard, or if you live far enough south, you might have a hydrangea. Mock orange is a small shrub here in Montana, but the flowers have an incredible aroma. I can hardly wait each summer for the chance to bury my nose in the blossoms and savor the sweetness. Most members of the family are shrubs with opposite leaves, although there are always exceptions. The vegetation might be mistaken for the Honeysuckle Family, but the flowers are different.

      Flowers of the Hydrangea Family are bisexual and regular, with 4 to 10 united sepals and 4 to 5 (rarely 10) separate petals, plus 4 to numerous stamens. The ovary is positioned inferior and consists of 2 to 5 united carpels (often 4) (syncarpous) with the partition walls present, forming an equal number of chambers. It matures as a capsule containing numerous seeds. Worldwide, there are 17 genera and 250 species, including 9 genera in North America. The Hydrangea is often planted domestically in the warmer states. The cluster of showy flowers are sterile. The fertile flowers are smaller and shorter, appearing in the middle of the group.

Key Words: Shrubs with opposite leaves and showy flowers with parts in fours and fives.

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Philadelphus lewisii. Lewis' Mock Orange.

Philadelphus lewisii. Lewis' Mock Orange.

Philadelphus lewisii. Lewis' Mock Orange.

Philadelphus lewisii. Lewis' Mock Orange. Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park. Montana.

Bigleaf Hydrangea: Hydrangea macrophylla.

Bigleaf Hydrangea: Hydrangea macrophylla. Bigleaf Hydrangea is native to China and Japan, but widely cultivated in warm temperate regions around the world.

Bigleaf Hydrangea: Hydrangea macrophylla.

Bigleaf Hydrangea: Hydrangea macrophylla.

There are more
Hydrangea Family pictures
at PlantSystematics.org.


Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
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Participating in Nature: Wilderness Survival and Primitive Living Skills.
Participating
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Foraging the Mountain West: Gourmet Edible Plants, Mushrooms, and Meat.
Foraging the
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Botany in a Day: The Patterns Method of Plant Identification
Botany
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