Japanese hydrangea vine is an excellent vine for wood or stone fences, walls, and arbors. It attaches to hard surfaces by root-like holdfasts. Cinnamon-brown bark and large, white lace cap flowers in late June add to the beauty of this climbing vine.
Size and Method of Climbing:
Japanese hydrangea vine is a clinging vine that climbs by means of small aerial roots. It will grow to 15 to 30 feet. Clinging vines attach themselves directly to a surface by means of holdfasts (adhesive discs) or by small aerial roots. This type of vine grows best on a flat surface, such as stone, masonry walls, and wood.
Native geographic location and habitat:
It is found in the woods and forests of the mountains of Japan.
Bark color and texture:
This vine attaches by root-like, cinnamon-brown holdfasts. Stems are cinnamon-brown with flaky, peeling bark. They remain flat and do not protrude outward from the growing site.
Leaves are 2 to 5 inches long, opposite, simple, coarsely toothed, oval to broadly heart-shaped. Dark green leaves turn a yellow fall color. Leaf stalks are red.
It has a single, 8 to 10 inch, flat-topped flower cluster (lacecap) composed of numerous fertile flowers surrounded by tear drop-shaped sterile outer petals (sepals). Flowers are slightly droopy. They appear in late June to early July and last for around four weeks. This vine flowers on old wood.
The fruit is a dehiscent capsule that is not ornamentally important.
Japanese hydrangea vine is not a hydrangea, but is closely related to the climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris). It grows in full sun, partial shade, or full shade but seems to do best in partial shade. It prefers well-drained, moist, humus-rich soil but is intolerant of wet sites. It is drought tolerant once established. Plants are slow to establish but will grow more rapidly with age. May take several years to flower.
List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:
Moonlight Japanese hydrangea vine (Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Moonlight’):
The leaves of this cultivar are a light, silver-gray with contrasting dark green veins. The white flower sepals are larger and showier than the species.
Rosea Japanese hydrangea vine (Schizophragma hydrangeoides ‘Rosea’):
The cultivar ‘Rosea’ has large, showy pink flowers .