Thrives in rich, porous, somewhat moist soils. It prefers full sun in the morning, with some afternoon shade; however, many will grow and bloom in partial shade. Very adaptable to colder climates.
A very pretty white hydrangea, often producing heads over 25cm in diameter. Unlike the better known blue and pink hydrangeas (macrophyllas), Annabelle blooms every year even after severe pruning or intensely cold winters. Some people plant ‘Annabelle’ as a hedge since it can be cut back severely in the winter for a tidy effect.
‘Annabelle’ was introduced to cultivation by American Dr. J.C. McDaniel in 1962. From our reading there is an interesting story sitting behind this fact. In 1910 near the town of Anna (Illinois) Harriet Kirkpatrick and her daughter Amy were out horseback riding when they discovered the Annabelle. They returned later and dug them to put in their yard. As they multiplied they generously shared them with friends and neighbors. About 50 years later, Bon Hartline of Anna became interested in the “Annabelle”. He invited his former University of Illinois professor, Dr. J.C. McDaniel, to visit Anna to study the plant. McDaniel classified and registered it as “Hydrangea arborescens” in 1960. It is said that he originally gave it the common name of “Ballerina” because of the flower’s very round shape. However, the name “Annabelle” was chosen for the two “belles” from Anna who discovered the beautiful plant all those years ago.
Possibly available from larger gardens centres. Definitely from specialist growers.