Hydrangea aspera ‘Macrophylla’

big-leaf Chinese hydrangea

  • © Daniel J. Hinkley

Outstanding Qualities

This large deciduous shrub is noted for its bold spectacular felted leaves (up to 10 inches long!). In midsummer Hydrangea aspera 'Macrophylla' produces well spaced, large delicate lace-cap flowers with pure white sterile florets surrounding an interior of tiny lavender fertile flowers. An open branching pattern allows a view of the attractive reddish tan bark which peels from the trunk. Definitely a show-stopper in the garden! Mix this interesting shrub with rhododendrons, camellias or other dark green foliage plants. Planting in front of evergreen trees not only highlight the beautiful flowers, but also enhance the peeling bark in the winter months.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: shrub

Foliage Type: deciduous

Plant Height: 12 ft. 0 in. (3.66 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 12 ft. 0 in. (3.66 meters)

Plant Height-Mature: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Plant Width-Mature: 15 ft. 0 in. (4.57 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 7 to 9

Flower Color: white

Sun/Light Exposure: light to open shade

Water Requirements: regular

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: red, orange, variegated

Great Color Partners: dark green, silver, white

Culture Notes
This hydrangea grows best in rich moist, well-drained or sandy soil in light to open shade. It dislikes drying out so regular watering is needed during dry weather to prevent the leaves from scorching. Little pruning is necessary, but is best done in late winter or early spring to remove dead, broken or poorly formed branches.