Bennett Avenue In Summer Bloom 2
Photograph - Photo With Added Texture
This is part of a series of photographs of flowers blooming along Bennett Avenue (New York City) in July.
Per Wikipedia: Hydrangea (common names hydrangea or hortensia) is a genus of 70 to75 species of flowering plants native to southern and eastern Asia (China, Japan, Korea, the Himalayas, and Indonesia) and the Americas. By far the greatest species diversity is in eastern Asia, notably China, Japan, and Korea. Most are shrubs 1 to 3 meters tall, but some are small trees, and others lianas reaching up to 30 m (98 ft) by climbing up trees. They can be either deciduous or evergreen, though the widely cultivated temperate species are all deciduous.
There are two flower arrangements in hydrangeas. Mophead flowers are large round flowerheads resembling pom-poms or, as the name implies, the head of a mop. In contrast, lacecap flowers bear round, flat flowerheads with a center core of subdued, fertile flowers surrounded by outer rings of showy, sterile flowers. The flowers of some rhododendrons can appear similar to those of some hydrangeas, but Rhododendron (including azalea) is in a different order.
In most species the flowers are white, but in some species (notably H. macrophylla), can be blue, red, pink, light purple, or dark purple. In these species the color is affected by soil pH. For H. macrophylla and H. serrata cultivars, the flower color can be determined by the relative acidity of the soil: an acidic soil (pH below 7), by the influence of sundry agents in the soil, such as alum or iron, will usually produce flower color closer to blue, whereas an alkaline soil (pH above 7) will produce pinker flowers. This is caused by a color change of the flower pigments in the presence of aluminium ions which can be taken up into hyperaccumulating plants.
Hydrangeas are popular ornamental plants, grown for their large flowerheads, with Hydrangea macrophylla being by far the most widely grown with over 600 named cultivars, many selected to have only large sterile flowers in the flowerheads. Some are best pruned on an annual basis when the new leaf buds begin to appear. If not pruned regularly, the bush will become very 'leggy', growing upwards until the weight of the stems is greater than their strength, at which point the stems will sag down to the ground and possibly break. Other species only flower on 'old wood'. Thus new wood resulting from pruning will not produce flowers until the following season.
Hydrangea root and rhizome are indicated for treatment of conditions of the urinary tract in the PDR for Herbal Medicine and may have diuretic properties. Hydrangeas are moderately toxic if eaten, with all parts of the plant containing cyanogenic glycosides. Hydrangea paniculata is reportedly sometimes smoked as an intoxicant, despite the danger of illness and/or death due to the cyanide.
In Japan, ama-cha,甘茶 meaning sweet tea, is another herbal tea made from Hydrangea serrata, whose leaves contain a substance that develops a sweet taste (phyllodulcin). For the fullest taste, fresh leaves are crumpled, steamed, and dried, yielding dark brown tea leaves. Ama-cha is mainly used for kan-butsu-e (the Buddha bathing ceremony) on April 8 every year, the day thought to be Buddha's birthday in Japan. During the ceremony, Ama-cha is poured over a statue of Buddha and served to people in attendance. A legend has it that on the day Buddha was born, nine dragons poured Amrita over him; ama-cha is substituted for Amrita in Japan.
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Featured in the Global Flowers Photography group, July 2019.
July 14th, 2019
Viewed 437 Times - Last Visitor from Beverly Hills, CA on 11/16/2019 at 1:56 AM