Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Hydrangeaceae, Hydrangea Family

The Hydrangeaceae family is a relatively small family with approximately 19 genera and 260 accepted species names. Some authorities further divide the family into two families with several genera split off and placed in the Philadelphaceae family. The family includes several important well-known species such as natives and ornamentals.

Hydrangeaceae species occur world-wide in distribution and are found in tropical, subtropical and north temperate regions. Most species are found in warmer temperate zones.

Family Characteristics: Species include trees, shrubs, subshrubs, vines, herbs and popular ornamentals. growth; bark often exfoliating, leaves; evergreen or deciduous, generally opposite pairs, some alternate others in whorl, leaf margins variable entire or dentate, rarely lobed, flowers; showy, bisexual or unisexual, petals 4, 5 or more (12), inflorescence cymose, fruit is a capsule or berry.

Important species: From a commercial standpoint, shrubs of the genera Deutzia, Hydrangea, and Philadelphus are well-known garden ornamentals around the world. The genus Hydrangea also includes brightly colored ornamental woody vines or small trees. Colors vary from white, blue and pink and the color may be a result of soil conditions particularly acidity. Other important genera include local native species which are also showy and significant habitat species. A list below includes important North American native genera.

In North America, according to the USDA Plants Database, there are 9 genera and about 80 species in the Hydrangeaceae family. Common species found in the United States include the following:

Fendlera: 3 species in North America, shrubs.

Fendlerella: 1 species in North America, shrubs.

Hydrangeae: 5 species in North America, shrubs or trees. Species also native to Mexico, Central America, South America and east Asia.

Philadelphus: 38 native and non-native species in North America. Species also native to Mexico, Central America, Europe and Asia.

Whipplea: 1 species, shrub or sub-shrub, native to the Pacific Coastal region of the United States.

Date Family Profile Completed: 08/12/2019 References:
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database – ITIS search [accessed 08/08/2019]
USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Online Database accessed 08/08/2019].
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 08/08/2019).
Wikipedia contributors. "Hydrangeaceae." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 Jun. 2019. Web. 8 Aug. 2019.
Craig C. FreemanFNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 12 | 26. Hydrangeaceae Dumortier, Hydrangea Family Hydrangea Family
Hufford L. (2004) Hydrangeaceae. In: Kubitzki K. (eds) Flowering Plants · Dicotyledons. The Families and Genera of Vascular Plants, vol 6. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
Amy Tikkanen, 2013, 2009, John P. Rafferty, 2009, Shiveta Singh, 2009, 2008, The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1998, Encyclopaedia Britannica Online. Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 19 Jun. 2016