1. Hydrangea chinensis Maximowicz, Mém. Acad. Imp. Sci. Saint Pétersbourg. ser. 7, 10(16): 7. 1867.
中国绣球 zhong guo xiu qiu
Hydrangea angustipetala Hayata; H. angustipetala var. major W. T. Wang & M. X. Nie; H. chloroleuca Diels; H. jiangxiensis W. T. Wang & M. X. Nie; H. macrosepala Hayata; H. obovatifolia Hayata; H. scandens (Linnaeus f.) Seringe subsp chinensis (Maximowicz) E. M. McClintock; H. umbellata Rehder.
Shrubs 0.5-4 m tall. First and 2nd years' branchlets red-brown to brown, pubescent when young, glabrescent. Petiole 0.5-2 cm, glabrous or pubescent; leaf blade lanceolate, narrowly elliptic, or obovate, 5-12 × 1.5-4 cm, papery to thinly so, both surfaces sparsely pubescent or glabrous except along veins, abaxially usually barbate at vein axils, secondary veins 4-7 on both sides of midvein, abaxially slightly elevated, base cuneate to subacute, margin subentire to roughly serrate, apex caudate-acuminate to acute. Inflorescences umbellate or subcorymbose, 3-7 cm, 10-14 cm wide in fruit, apex flat or slightly arcuate; branches 3 or 5, equal or central one longer and thicker, pubescent. Sterile flowers with sepals 3 or 4, elliptic, obovate, ovate-orbicular, or broadly orbicular, 1.1-3 × 1-3 cm in fruit, margin entire, undulate, or few denticulate. Fertile flowers with calyx tube cupular to campanulate, 0.5-1.5 × 1.5-2 mm; teeth lanceolate to triangular-ovate, 0.5-2 mm. Petals yellow, elliptic to oblanceolate, 2.5-3.5 × 1-1.2 mm, base with a claw ca. 0.5 mm, apex subacute. Stamens 8-11, subequal, 2-4.5 mm; anthers oblong, 0.6-1 mm. Ovary ca. 1/2 or more superior. Styles 3 or 4, erect or slightly spreading, 1-2 mm in fruit; stigmas usually enlarged, decurrent along both sides of style. Capsule fusiform to ovoid-globose, 3.5-5 × 2.4-3.5 mm, projected apical part 1.5-2.5 mm, equaling or slightly longer than calyx tube. Seeds brownish, ellipsoid, ovoid, or subglobose, slightly compressed, 0.5-1 × 0.4-0.5 mm, wingless; seed coat net veined. Fl. Mar-Aug, fr. May-Oct.
Sparse to dense forests on mountain slopes, mountain tops, or in valleys; 300-2000 m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangxi, Hunan, Jiangxi, Taiwan, Zhejiang [Japan].
Hydrangea chinensis is a very common and widespread taxon that forms a species complex out of which a number of segregate species have been recognized. One of the present authors (Bartholomew) feels that species nos. 2-4 below all fall within the pattern of variation found in H. chinensis, in the synonymy of which they would be better treated.