Hydrangeas: The Flower With Etymological Meaning | Flower Profile
Hydrangea (common names hydrangea or hortensia) is a genus of 70–75 species of flowering plants native to Asia and the Americas. By far the greatest species diversity is in eastern Asia, notably Korea, China, and Japan. 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.
The oldest fossil finds were found in North America , namely in Alaska , Oregon and California , they were dated at 40 to 65 million years ago , more recent discoveries in China , Japan , Taiwan and the Philippines prove that the Hydrangea have been on this planet long before the arrival of men .
In Asia, China and Japan were already cultivated Hydrangea's many thousands of years ago , in North America the medicine men used the roots of Harborescens as a means to drive out kidney stones and to combat bronchitis.
In Japan, the flower has a historical tradition behind it linked to apologies and gratitude. An emperor supposedly gave Hydrangeas to a maiden he loved as an apology for neglecting her when other business took up all his attention. Contemporary florists in Japan use it to represent genuine emotions and love because the pink blossoms in particular resemble a beating heat.
The Victorians were not as fond of the Hydrangea and considered it a mostly negative plant. The flowers were sent to declare someone a boaster or braggart, or to chastise someone for their frigidity in turning down a claim of romantic love. It also means frigidity because of the Medieval belief that young women who grew or picked Hydrangeas would never find a husband. Modern Western florists often use the flowers in wedding bouquets and apology arrangements to tie in with their graceful and abundant meanings.