From Seeing Flowers by Teri Dunn Chace and Robert Llewellyn:
“The … flattened clusters of the lacecaps make hydrangea flower morphology easy to see. The bigger, showier florets that tend to dominate or stay to the outer edges are always sterile. The smaller, inner ones are fertile, and with pollination they will produce fat little fruits that lead to chambered seeds. It’s typical to have four or five petals, and between four and ten sepals. Peer closely — the true petals are clearly separate from one another, while the sepals are fused.
“Thus the pollinators, various flies and bees, may have to root around a bit to find the true flowers once they arrive.”
In my previous two posts (see Baby Bluebird … Hydrangeas (1 of 2) and Baby Bluebird … Hydrangeas (2 of 2), I included photographs of some bluebird hydrangeas from my garden shortly after they started their springtime blooming. The images in this post (and the next one) feature some of the same hydrangea plants, photographed a few weeks later as the blooms continued to get larger and more mature. So in the galleries below you’ll see bigger central clusters of tiny flowers, surrounded by the white (or bluish or purplish white) petals that are both larger and more numerous than in the baby bluebirds.
Thanks for taking a look!