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.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Large plant (more than 24 inches)
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest:
- Mid spring,
- Late spring,
- Early summer,
- Mid summer,
- Late summer,
- Early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and Method of Climbing
A 15 to 30 feet high climbing vine. Japanese hydrangea vine is a clinging vine that climbs by means of small aerial roots.
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.
Japanese hydrangea vine is not a hydrangea, but closely related to climbing hydrangea (Hydrangea petiolaris).
It grows in full sun, partial shade, or full shade but seems to do best in partial shade.
Tolerant of well-drained moist, humus-rich soil. Tolerant of drought once established, but intolerant of wet sites.
Plants are slow to establish but will grow more rapidly with age. May take several years to flower.
Disease, pests, and problems
Native geographic location and habitat
Found in the woods and forest in 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 growing site.
Opposite, simple, coarsely toothed, 2 to 5 inch long oval to broadly heart-shaped. Dark green leaves turn a yellow fall color. Leaf stalks are red.
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, appear in late June to early-July and last for around four weeks.
Flowers on old wood.
A dehiscent capsule, not ornamentally important.
Cultivars and their differences
Moonlight Japanese Hydrangea Vine (Schizophragma hydrangeoides 'Moonlight’): The leaves of this cultivar have a light, sliver-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' had large, showy pink flowers .