May Blooms in my Georgia Garden: Climbing Hydrangea

Climbing Hydrangea
 at Shady Gardens Nursery
There's nothing more beautiful right now than the lacy blooms of our Climbing Wild Hydrangea. Decumaria barbara is known by several different common names. You might know it as Wood Vamp, but it is our native Climbing Hydrangea.

Decumaria is a deciduous vine native to the Southeastern United States. Climbing Hydrangea is truly in the Hydrangea family. (Don't confuse this plant with another sharing the same common name. Hydrangea anomala petiolaris is not native to the United States but originates in Asia and blooms a little later in the season.) Decumaria barbara clings to its support with aerial roots, and it will attach itself to a tree or wall without any additional support.

Lacy  clusters of fragrant white hydrangea-like blooms smell just like fresh honey. Blooms appear in late Spring or early Summer on climbing vines. Decumaria makes a fast-growing groundcover too, but it will not bloom unless allowed to climb. Blooms are solely fertile and smell wonderful.

This easy to grow native vine is not invasive and can be allowed to climb a tree with no danger of it smothering the tree as wisteria does. The delicate aerial rootlets won't harm your tree or wall. 

Plant Native Climbing Hydrangea in shade. Decumaria barbara appreciates protection from hot sun and will bloom in full shade. It enjoys moist soil and naturally occurs in the wild on the banks of streams and rivers. It will grow very quickly in rich soil if watered regularly.

Climbing Hydrangea is a good addition for wildlife in woodland gardens. The thick vines provide good cover and nesting sites for birds and small mammals. The fragrant flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators. 

Decumaria barbara is native to Georgia woodlands but can be grown anywhere in USDA Zones 7-11.

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