For many gardeners, hydrangeas are a staple in the summer garden. But you’ve never seen one like this. Recently released from Bailey Nurseries’ First Edition Series, Great Star hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata ‘LeVasterival’ Great Star) takes its name from the garden of Princess Sturdza in Normandy, France, where it was discovered. This elegant hydrangea boasts clusters of creamy white star-shaped blooms that grow up to 4 inches across. Despite its regal heritage, Great Star doesn’t require any royal treatment and continuously showers you with brilliant starry blooms until the first frost.
Common name: Great Star hydrangea
Botanical name: Hydrangea paniculata ‘LeVasterival’ Great Star
Plant type: Deciduous shrub
Zones: 4 to 8
Height: 6 to 7 feet
• Sun: Full or part sun
• Soil: Average, well-drained
• Moisture: Medium
• Mulch: Mulch to preserve moisture in the soil.
• Pruning: None needed.
• Fertilizer: None needed.
• By seed or by cuttings.
Pests and diseases
• No serious insect or disease problems, although bacterial wilt, bud blight, leaf spot, rust, and powdery mildew may occur.
• Aphids, scale, mites, and nematodes can also be a problem.
• Great Star is excellent for cutting.
• H. paniculata ‘LeVasterival’ Great Star is an ideal specimen plant. It also looks good when grouped together in a shrub border or planted in a container.
• Dry the flowerheads of Great Star and use them in floral arrangements.
• All parts of hydrangea may cause stomach upset if ingested, and its foliage may aggravate skin allergies.
All in the family
• Hydrangea is a genus of approximately 100 species of shrubs and vines, which are grown for their large, lavish flowerheads.
• For hydrangeas with pink or blue flowers, bloom color is determined by the availability of aluminum ions in the soil. Acidic soils with a pH of less than 5.5 produce blue flowers, while soils with a pH greater than 5.5 produce pink flowers. White hydrangea flowers will remain white; their color isn’t affected by soil pH.
Where to buy
• White Flower Farm, Litchfield, CT, 800-503-9624, www.whiteflowerfarm.com
(Text by Elyse Lucas, photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries)