Hydrangea, “ajisai” in Japanese, is floral symbol of Japanese rainy season. Prior to the ajisai season, this post is about Japanese origin species and lacecap hydrangeas. They have delicate and lacy flower heads.
Their native habitat is half-shade in mountainous areas of Japan. In 19th century, a German Dr. Phillip Franz von Siebold (1796-1866) took some varieties of
Japanese Ajisai back home and introduced them in his Flora Japonica.
"Hydrangea Japonica" named by Siebold which you see at the bottom of the picture was changed to "Hydrangea macrophylla (Think.) ser." later. Hydrangea macrophylla is a species of hydrangea native to Japan.
The outside parts some people would think petals are actually sepals: that's why they are called がく紫陽花 meaning "sepals hydrangea" in Japanese. The central small flowers are fertile and are surrounded by sterile flower with sepals.
Lacecap hydrangeas look the most beautiful and enchanting in the forest, snuggling under and around trees as they are loose and graceful. I saw numerous fairies wearing a lace cap playing in the shower of light and green. See how they are.....
They are ethereal.
|Flora Japonica, Panel 052|
This is also hydrangea native to Japan which was introduced in the Flora Japonica. Seabold called it "Hydrangea otakusa" named after his Japanese lover "Otaki-san". The name was changed to more scientific name, "hydrangea macrophylla" later. Hydrangea macrophylla is basically blue. The origin of the Japanese word Ajisai was "Azu Sa Ai" which means “gathering blue colors”.
In 20th century, gorgeous ajisai in various colors with larger flower heads, which were hybridized in the western world, returned home.
(Photos were taken at Mt. Rokko, early July, 2012.)