A rounded, multi-stemmed shrub with large, upright, conical flower panicles that open white and age to shades of rosy-purple. Multiple bracts (sepals) give the panicle a double-flowered appearance. Mostly sterile flowers. Large, deeply-lobed, oak-like, deep green leaves turn a gorgeous crimson and purple in fall. Exfoliating bark of older stems provides winter interest.
Bloom occurs on old wood. Prune if needed immediately after flowering (little pruning is usually needed). Per the Missouri Botanical Garden, H. quercifolia should be given a sheltered location and winter protection (e.g., mulch, burlap wrap) in USDA Zone 5, particularly when not fully established. Plants can lose significant numbers of flower buds or die to the ground in harsh winters (temperatures below -10 degrees F).
H. quercifolia offer beauty and rich fall color to extend interest beyond the flowering season and brighten shady corners where green usually dominates.
Height: 6-8 ft.
Spread: 6-8 ft.
Bloom time: May to July
Sun: full sun to part shade
According to Rutgers University, H. quercifolia are “occasionally severely damaged” by deer.
photo credit: Sally V