Oakleaf Hydrangeas are landscape masterpieces. The large white pyramidal flower persists for several weeks before slowly changing to a purplish pink color that last for another week or so. Once the flower is spent it will dry on the shrub and last well into the winter. The large oak leaf shape leaves on this plant provide great texture on the landscape and in the fall the leaves turn a rich deep burgundy red that will persist into early winter. The bark exfoliates revealing rich hues of cinnamon brown contrasted on the light brown stems.
The Quaker, William Bartram, found this plant in 1776 while on a trip funded by Dr. John Fothergill. The Revolutionary War prevented this plant from being propagated and traded, but popularity came soon thereafter.
The Oakleaf hydrangea is only a host plant for 10 species of butterflies and moths in Jefferson County, but is a source of food for many others. The Audubon Society has found that over 14 different genera of birds are attracted to the shrub