Hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.)
| Description | Distribution | Conditions of poisoning | Control | Toxic principle | Clinical signs | References
The cultivated species, Hydrangea macrophylla Ser. (= H. hortensis), is a deciduous shrub which can reach to nearly 6 feet. The common cultivated species is grown widely in gardens and as potted plants. The flowers among the cultivated species include white, pink, mauve, bluish purple, to blue. The forms of the flower clusters and the leaves of the cultivated species are similar to those of the cold-hardy wild species (H. arborescens L.).
Wild hydrangeas, H. quercifolia Bartr. and H. arborescens L. , are shrubs which reach 3.5 to 10 feet in height. The stems are light green when new, turning light brown and woody with time. Leaves are alternate, 4-10 inches in length, dark green above, lighter or pale green on the underside. The leaves of H. quercifolia Bartr. are deeply lobed, while those of the other species (H. arborescens L.) are broadly rounded with apex tapering to a point. Flowers appear in clusters or heads, mostly with 4 petals in white or cream color, blooming from June to July. The capsular fruit is less than 1/8 inch in length and has many small, thin brown seeds.
Though wild hydrangeas are sometimes grown as ornamental shrubs in gardens, H. arborescens L. is widely distributed in wooded areas, rarely in full sunlight, from New York to Georgia, west to Kansas and Oklahoma including the southern half of Illinois. H. quercifolia Bartr. is limited to the southeastern states and usually grows in considerable shade on river bluffs and steep banks of sinkholes.
Poisoning is rare, but a horse was seriously poisoned after eating a single potted hydrangea.
May contain the cyanogenic glycoside hydrangin, but poisonings do not generally involve effects or clinical signs of typical cyanide.
Affected animals may experience painful gastroenteritis, and diarrhea which may be bloody.
Hydrangea entry in Wikipedia
Back to Top | Plants Toxic to Animals | Plant Lists: Scientific or Common