Hydrangea Arborescens 'Abetwo' Incrediball®
Hydrangea arborescens, commonly known as smooth hydrangea or wild hydrangea, is a loosely and widely branched deciduous shrub that typically grows to 3-6’ (less frequently to 10’) tall. It is native to moist or rocky wooded slopes, ravines, streambanks and bluff bases from New York to Florida west to Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Gray-brown stems are clad with opposite, broad egg-shaped to rounded, sharply toothed, dark green leaves (2-6” long) with pale green undersides. Leaves turn yellow in fall. Tiny white fertile flowers bloom in May-July in flattened hairy clusters (corymbs to 2-6”across). Scattered continuing flowering may occur throughout summer to September. A few large sterile flowers usually appear at the cluster margins (usually not enough for a quality lacecap effect). Flowers give way to dehiscent seed capsules which ripen in October-November.Genus name comes from hydor meaning water and aggeion meaning vessel in reference to the cup-like capsular fruit.Specific epithet comes from arbor meaning tree in reference to the similarity of this shrub to a small tree.‘Abetwo’ is commonly sold in commerce under the trade name of INCREDIBALL. It was developed from and is considered to be an improved version of H. ‘Annabelle’ which was originally discovered in the wild near Anna, Illinois. It features larger globular flower heads than ‘Annabelle’ (to 12” diameter with 4 times the flowers per head), with the added bonus of having much thicker upright stems that do not flop even if flower heads become soaked with rain. The densely packed sterile flowers on the flower heads of INCREDIBALL emerge lime green, but mature to pure white. Flowers bloom in early June for up to two months. Flowers contrast well with the dark green leaves. U.S. Plant Patent PP20,571 was issued December 15, 2009.