Photographed yesterday in the David C. Lam Asian Garden at UBC, this hydrangea is a favourite for its “lilac-dusted leaves”; caused by petals falling from the senescing flowers. The effect is barely visible in this photograph, but if you are sharp-eyed, you can spot it on some leaves in the lower left of the plant. Long-time readers of Botany Photo of the Day might also recognize the Acer shirasawanum ‘Aureum’ previously featured in June.
From The Jade Garden:
The name Hydrangea comes from the Greek hydro meaning “water” and angeion, meaning “a vessel”, in reference to the dehiscent seed capsules, which are shaped like a Grecian water jar.
The Flora of China’s written account of Hydrangea robusta is accompanied by an illustration of the seed. If you’re curious, compare that drawing with a photograph of a Grecian urn to see if you agree with the literal meaning of Hydrangea.
As an aside, I note that in Keats’ “Odes on a Grecian Urn”, the poem ends with ‘Beauty is truth, truth beauty’–that is all / Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.. Was it inspiration for Botany Photo of the Day’s tagline of In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.? Not consciously, I promise.