Some call this “Grandmother’s old-time flower.” But hydrangeas really are old. Much like the daisy, they’ve been on the planet for millions of years. Previously, it was believed that they dated back about 45 to 60 million years ago from fossils found in the United States’ west coast. Recent discoveries, however, prove hydrangeas were around before man.
The hydrangea can signify frigidness, heartlessness, or in a more positive light, heartfelt gratitude for being understood.
Its name comes from the Greek, hydro, meaning water, and angeion, meaning cask. This name relates the spherical shape of the many flower heads, considered a flowering shrub. So every stem has tons of clusters of flowers, pretty much making it its own bouquet.
In North America, the hydrangea’s roots were used in medicine to rid the body of kidney stones and combat bronchitis. Native Americans, in particular, used the roots as a diuretic as well as a detoxifier.
In folklore, someone cursed by a witch could use the hydrangea to break the spell.
White is the usual color for hydrangeas. The level of acidity in the soil causes the other shades of pinks, purples, and blues. Acidic soil will cause the blue shade, while alkaline soil will cause pink or purple petals.