Monday, July 30, 2012

Georgia Gold Medal Winner Annabelle Hydrangea

Annabelle Hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens 'Annabelle') is a magnificent June-July flowering shrub ideally suited to shady, moist areas of the garden. The plant averages 3 to 5 feet in height, 4 to 6 feet in width. The ultimate form is a broad-mound of un-branched stems and large three to eight inch long dark green leaves. Green buds appear on the end of each stem in May to early June, with blooms emerging as apple green, then turning creamy white, then brown. These inflorescences range from 4 to 12 inches in diameter. With abundant rainfall, they will flop and may require staking. If the old flowers are removed by late June-early July, a second flowering may occur in August-September, but the flowers are smaller.  'Annabelle' should be utilized in shady areas of the garden, preferably in groupings or masses. Under trees, it makes a terrific color splash.

'Annabelle' was discovered by two ladies who were riding horses near Anna, Illinois. They noticed the uniqueness of the flowers and brought the plant back to their garden in Anna. The two Belles and the town of Anna resulted in the cultivar name.

Hydrangea arborescens is native to North America, including all of the Southeastern states. Since ‘Annabelle’ became the Georgia Gold Medal shrub winner in 1995, other varieties have become available, including the recently released ‘Incrediball’, with stronger stems and very large bloom clusters.
Find out about other Georgia Gold Medal winners here.
GGM Facebook page.
Incrediball Hydrangea is another Hydrangea arborescens selection from Proven Winners with large flowers and sturdy stems.

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