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The Hydrangea Book: The Authoritative Guide

The Authoritative Guide
Michael A. Dirr

The Hydrangea Book: The Authoritative Guide is the definitive book/garden treatise on the genus covering the major and minor species as well as Decumaria, Dichroa, Pileostegia, Platycrater and Schizophragma, related genera now submerged into Hydrangea. Pertinent information for each includes identification, newest cultivars, culture, disease/insects, propagation, garden worthiness, breeding strategies, photographs and line art. The 580 color photographs highlight the species and cultivars. Five Appendices discuss the author's favorite hydrangeas, fertilizers/propagation materials, breeding protocols, and European breeders.

Areas of focus include:

  • Major species: Hydrangea arborescens, H. macrophylla, H. paniculata, H. quercifolia, and H. serrata.
  • Secondary species: Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris, H. aspera, H. heteromalla, and H. involucrata.
  • Species worthy of consideration: Hydrangea angustipetala, H. chinensis, H. hirta, H. indochinensis, H. integrifolia, H. lobbii, H. liukiuensis, H. longipes, H. luteovenosa, H. scandens, H. seemanii, H. serratifolia, H. sikokiana, and H. umbellata.
  • New Hydrangea species: Decumaria barbara/now Hydrangea barbara; Dichroa febrifuga/now H. febrifuga; Pileostegia viburnoides/now H. viburnoides; Platycrater arguta/now H. platyarguta; and Schizophragma hydrangeoides now H. hydrangeoides.

Dr. Dirr has bred and researched hydrangeas for over 40 years. His University of Georgia (UGA) breeding program and private company, Plant (now Premier) Introductions, Inc., have enriched gardens worldwide with a cornucopia of trees and flowering shrubs, Hydrangea being the most prominent. His UGA breeding led to the development of the remontant/reblooming H. macrophylla series. The work continues with two partners, Mark Griffith and Jeff Beasley, in their pursuit to breed garden-worthy, reliable flowering hydrangeas. This new book coalesces and shares their combined hundred years of experience.