Pink Mophead Hydrangeas (Five Variations)

From Garden Flora: The Natural and Cultural History of the Plants In Your Garden by Noel Kingsbury:

“The first mention of hydrangeas in any text was in 8th-century Japanese poetry, with it being noted that the flowers have different colours in different places; doubles were noted too. Wild forms with mopheads are known from various places in the country, and it is likely these were first taken into cultivation during the Heien period. Over time the plants became more popular but were never a major subject of interest: possibly because wild plants were so common and easy to grow, they lacked any real cachet. The irony is that it was only after World War II, with introductions to Japan of plants from the United States, that hydrangeas have become really widespread in Japan.”

From Hydrangeas by Naomi Slade:

“[Many] hydrangeas have a ‘preferred’ colour, and they will lean towards this, regardless. Simply, some would rather be pink….”


Wow, it’s September 12 already; I must have dozed off at the end of August and woke up in a new month!

There are some hydrangeas in my garden that were planted before I bought the house over a decade and a half ago, that surprise me every spring with a new batch of blooms. Colors vary — as hydrangea colors like to do — and this year one of the plants produced a couple of the most intense pink blooms I’ve seen so far. I didn’t do anything to encourage this color (though we did have an inordinate amount of rain, especially in the spring and early summer), so, apparently, the hydrangea decided to pink itself out.

When processing these photos in Lightroom, these two blooms are interpreted as magenta — magenta being the dominant color in the pink-to-red range accessible in the raw image file. Most white, blue, or purple hydrangea blooms will contain some green mixed among the petal colors, yet these pink ones didn’t — so, in the first gallery below you can see how I could shift green colors from dark to bright without any change to the pink in the flower petals. I often reduce luminance on green in my flower photos to blend the leaves more into the background and give the colorful flowers prominence; but in the third photo below, I did the opposite: I cranked the green all the way up to make the leaves look like they were lit separately.



My previous hydrangea posts for 2021 are:

Baby Bluebird … Hydrangeas (1 of 2)

Baby Bluebird … Hydrangeas (2 of 2)

More Bluebird Hydrangeas! (1 of 2)

More Bluebird Hydrangeas! (2 of 2)

Thanks for taking a look!

More Bluebird Hydrangeas! (2 of 2)

From Garden Flora: The Natural and Cultural History of the Plants In Your Garden by Noel Kingsbury:

“Hydrangea includes some 35 species of small trees, shrubs, or shrubby climbers, found in eastern and southeastern Asia and the Americas. The name comes from the Greek for a water vessel, after the shape of the fruit. Hydrangeas are plants of regions with warm and humid summer climates, the shrubby kinds growing typically in woodland edge habitats, and in Japan, along the coast.

For gardeners, the distinction between lacecap and mophead is crucial. Plants are naturally lacecaps… with a large number of small fertile florets being surrounded by a corona of larger sterile ones, the latter attracting pollinators. Mutation may result in nearly all the fertile florets being replaced by sterile ones — a turn of events that renders the flowers totally dysfunctional as far as wild plants are concerned but which led to great interest from humanity….


Let’s wrap up August 2021 with the last of my bluebird hydrangea photos — to be followed in a few days with a selection of my very own beautiful and bulbous mophead hydrangeas; or, as I like to call them: hydrangibles.

The previous bluebird hydrangea posts are:

Baby Bluebird … Hydrangeas (1 of 2)

Baby Bluebird … Hydrangeas (2 of 2)

More Bluebird Hydrangeas! (1 of 2)

Thanks for taking a look! See you in September!






More Bluebird Hydrangeas! (1 of 2)

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!