The 2011 Showstopper Plants have been selected by The North Carolina Nursery & Landscape Association and North Carolina and the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

Each year, North Carolina nurserymen nominate Showstopper Plants and five are selected by North Carolina Cooperative Extension horticulture experts.

These featured plants are promising new cultivars, able to thrive in North Carolina gardens.

Name: Hydrangea anomala subsp.  Petiolaris, climbing hydrangea

Zones: 4 – 7

Size:  40 to 50 feet

Conditions: Sun to shade

Witnessing a vine clamoring up a tree during a garden tour in Cary, NC, made me a lover of the climbing hydrangea, H. anomala subsp. petiolaris. At first I didn’t recognize it, mainly because I’d never seen it used in this way – with a tree as a trellis.  The climbing hydrangea, H. anomala subsp. petiolaris is a true climbing vine.

Flowering in early- to mid-summer, H. anomala subsp. petiolaris will produce hundreds of lace-cap type flowers, reaching up to 50 feet or more.  But give it time,  this climber is a slow grower. Click Here to read about How-to test your soil — North Carolina.

Hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris also sports a rich green foliage, loosing it’s leaves in the winter, revealing interesting exfoliating bark, making this climbing hydrangea worthy of our gardens year round.

After my discovery of the beautiful garden in Cary, I too grow climbing hydrangea.  I’m taking advantage of an eastern facing side of my brick home to use as a back drop.  At four years old, it’s beginning to take hold.  Well worth the wait as I watch it grow up.

More to read: Brightening Someone’s Day with Sydney Flower Delivery

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