Hydrangeas are highly cultivated flowers in parks and gardens due to their great flowering, which makes them perfect as ornamental plants. The flowers of these plants, then, with their grandeur, are often used for the realization of original floral compositions, able to amaze.
Not everyone, however, perhaps knows that these tree species can also have medicinal properties and be used for therapeutic purposes, a fact already known to American Indians.
They are plants of simple cultivation, which to grow at their best, do not require special care, except those of a good and constant supply of water, especially in the hottest periods, when high temperatures can sap plants of this kind and an exposure which allows the flowers to be protected during the hottest hours of the day, but which allows the hydrangea to receive direct sunlight when it is less aggressive.
Let's see what are the most interesting curiosities regarding these majestic-looking flowers.
Some small curiosities on these simple and extraordinary plants at the same time: in Japan the stems of Hydrangea paniculata are used to obtain walking sticks, pipes, wooden nails and umbrella handles; while with the young leaves of Hydrangea serrata, steamed and rolled by hand, a drink is prepared called Ama-tsia (heavenly thи) which was used to wash the statue of the Buddha on his birthday.
Also in Japan the variety of hydrangea paniculata is used to make valuable paper, through the use of bark combined with cellulose and water.
The Cherokee Indians instead used the roots of Hydrangea arborescens in disorders related to kidney stones, preparing decoctions believed to remove them and relieve pain due to their emission.
These plants have been known since ancient times, while in Europe they came only in the 1700s, thanks to botanists' journeys to discover new varieties of plants and flowers that ventured into distant countries to have the opportunity to learn about species unknown in Europe and that have allowed the spread of beautiful hydrangea flowers.
Hydrangea curiosity: Name
It seems that the name Ortensia was given to this tree variety by a French botanist, Philibert Commerson, who called it some specimens from the East Indies to honor the son of the Prince of Nassau.
This plant is however of very ancient origin, with traces that date back even to the Tertiary era.
To have these flowers in Europe, on the other hand, it was necessary to wait until the 1700s, when they were imported from Asian countries, where they had already spread in the 1600s, but, given the fact that Japan's borders remained closed for a long time, the fact of being able to bring specimens outside was very difficult.
The botanical name may also refer to a rather frightening mythological figure, Hydra, a young woman who turns into a figure with hair turned into snakes; it must be said, however, that the botanical name is commonly traced back to the Greek terms of water and pot, which refer to the capsules that contain the seeds of this plant.