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Products > Dichroa febrifuga
Dichroa febrifuga - Blue Evergreen Hydrangea

Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.  

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Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Hydrangeaceae (Mock-oranges)
Origin: Indonesia (Asia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Blue & White
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Cianitis sylvatica]
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 4-6 feet
Exposure: Light Shade/Part Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Dichroa febrifuga (Blue Evergreen Hydrangea) - A 3 to 7 foot tall by 5 foot wide, half-hardy evergreen shrub from the Hydrangea family. The 4 to 8 inch long dark green leaves resemble the foliage of Hydrangea with prominent veins and small serrations. The terminal end of the branches hold clusters of hydrangea-like flowers with white buds opening to bright blue flowers in spring and summer that are followed by metallic blue berries. As with the blue forms of Hydrangea the shade of blue of the flower is determined by soil pH (actually the availability of aluminum) and more acid soils produce bluer flowers. Plant in part sun to light shade with moderately moist soil. It is hardy and evergreen to 20-25 degrees F but defoliates much below these temperatures but plants knocked back by cold resprout from hard wood. Dichroa febrifuga is native to Nepal eastwards to southern China and into south-east Asia, where it grows at the forest edge. The specific epithet "febrifuga" is from the Latin words 'febris' meaning "fever" and 'fugare' meaning "to expel" in reference to this plant's use as a febrifuge, acting to reduce fever. Herbalists have for centuries used the roots containing the chemical halofuginone for this treatment and its use as such is reported in the Himalayas, Malaysia and China. Additionally the plant is reportedly cultivated in Russia as an anti-malarial herb. One common name we have seen for this plant is the Asian Hydrangea, but feel this a bit of a misnomer since the most common species of Hydrangea, Hydrangea macrophylla, often called the "French Hydrangea" is also from Asia (Korea & Japan). Our thanks to Dylan Hannon for giving us our first plant, which he originally received from the Strybing Arboretum. This plant has been growing very successfully in our main nursery garden in full morning sun since 1985. We offered this plant from 1995 until 2014 but have since discontinued growing it to make room for more xeric plants. We still really like it and may grow it again someday.  This description is based on our research and observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery garden and in other gardens that we have visited. We will also incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have some additional information about this plant, in particular if this information is contrary to what we have written or if they have additional cultural tips that would aid others in growing Dichroa febrifuga.