Hydrangea Great Star™ First Editions® (Hydrangea paniculata'LeVasterival' PP20272)
Hydrangea Great Star™ is a newer introduction to the First Editions® line and even though there's not a whole lot of information out yet on its performance, Great Star™ is being touted as a "show stopper" in the garden and probably one of the best new hydrangeas for the garden as well as an all season summer blooming plant.
The origin of Hydrangea Great Star™ goes back to the Vasterival Gardens in Varangeville-sur-Mer, a few miles west of Dieppe in Normandy, France where the plant was found in the garden of Princess Sturdza, a self-taught and internationally renowned gardener. Since 1955, Princess Sturdza grew more than 10,000 species and plant varieties creating a beautiful garden with varying interest all year long. Le Vasterival is "a very special garden that attracts and fascinates amateur gardeners as well as the most renowned botanists and horticulturalists."
Hydrangea Great Star™ is a paniculata variety which is noted for its adaptability to varying degrees in temperature. Paniculata varieties also bloom later than other hydrangea species and therefore are not normally subject to late spring frosts. Because Hydrangea Great Star™ is a paniculata, the flower color cannot be changed to pink or blue unlike some of the macrophylla species.
Characteristics of First Editions® Great Star™ HydrangeaThis hydrangea's most exciting feature is its flowers. The giant, star-shaped, wavy florets are an elegant creamy white that can be up to 4 inches in diameter. The florets remind me of an oversized stephanotis, a popular flower in wedding bouquets. Certainly not a typical look for a hydrangea. The flowering time on hydrangea Great Star™ is exceptional because it blooms from mid-summer until the first hard frost. The foliage is a bright green which really accentuates the creamy white florets.
Hydrangea Great Star™ Requirements
This hydrangea does best when planted in full sun to part shade with a well drained soil. It is a low maintenance shrub that has been noted as resistant to drought (at Vasterival Gardens) and has an upright, arching growth habit. It grows 6-7' tall and 7-8' feet wide and its hardiness tolerance is best in zones 4-8. Not much pruning is required on paniculata varieties, but pruning out any dead wood is advisable.
Uses of Great Star™ Hydrangea
There are several appropriate and dramatic uses for this new hydrangea. What an impact would be made when planted in a location with a backdrop of evergreens. The contrast of the creamy white flowers blooming all summer long would be striking. Hydrangea Great Star™ would also make a big impact when planted as a hedge along the fenceline of the property. When planted around a pool hydrangea Great Star™ will provide a summer filled with exceptional color and enjoyment to all outdoor activities. Don't forget this hydrangea can be used for cut flowers and also dried arrangements.
Make sure to leave plenty of space in the garden for this new and exciting hydrangea. If it lives up to its expectations it should be a fantastic plant.