Plant of the Week: ROSE SENSATION™ and FLIRTY GIRL™ False hydrangea vine

Spring is always full of surprises. So is Shrub Madness! One of this year’s surprises is how well Rose Sensation™ Schizophragma (below left) did in early voting.

Not that it isn’t a plant that deserves plenty of votes, because it is pretty awesome. It’s just that Schizophragma (otherwise known as false hydrangea) is kind of a quiet little genus that doesn’t get a ton of attention.

Could this be changing? Has all of that time surfing the web this past year inspired people to look for something a little different? I hope so. Schizophragma is a lovely addition to landscapes and gardens and definitely deserves a headline or two.

Both Rose Sensation™ (above left) and Flirty Girl™ (above right) Schizophragma are vines that will climb a tree or fence and produce elegant summer blooms. You don’t need to worry about them taking over – they aren’t obnoxious. If anything they’re a little slow to get going and take a few seasons to bloom. However, Flirty Girl™ is a new variety that blooms at a young age.

Both are hardy in USDA 5-9 and grow 40-50′ tall…eventually. Remember, not obnoxious. They like full sun or part shade. and will bloom in late-spring/early summer.


To split or cleave

Schizophragma is a challenging botanical word. It sounds a bit like the tragic mental condition schizophrenia, and indeed shares the same root word, schizo.

Climbing hydrangea

Schizo implies a division or split. In the case of the plant, it alludes to the distinct sepals of the floral display. That’s how you can differentiate Schizophragma (false hydrangea) from Hydrangea anomala (climbing hydrangea.) The hydrangea will have four sepals grouped together while Schizophragma has separate ones.

It seems fitting for March: this week we have piles of snow melting on one side of the parking lot and warm sunshine on the other. Such is spring in Michigan. I haven’t packed away my snow gear (yet).

Through it all we’re thinking of our friends in Texas and across the South as they deal with the aftermath of some truly horrible weather. Take care.

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