hy·​dran·​gea | \ hī-ˈdrān-jə How to pronounce hydrangea (audio) \

Definition of hydrangea

: any of a genus (Hydrangea) of mostly shrubs having opposite leaves and showy clusters of usually sterile white, pink, or bluish flowers that is either placed in the saxifrage family or the hydrangea family (Hydrangeaceae)

Examples of hydrangea in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Around the same time, Stems Fleur in Cleveland Heights had roses, hydrangeas, and some tulips and springy snapdragons. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "Cleveland florists are still open for delivery, so you can send Easter flowers to loved ones," 9 Apr. 2020 Botanical Beauty Bouquet This bouquet includes hydrangeas, roses, lilies, curly willows and more. NBC News, "16 Best flower bouquets available for delivery Mother's Day 2020," 1 May 2020 For equally fun, colorful flowers that don't need tons of sun to bloom, try options like hydrangeas, impatiens, pansies, and primroses. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "The Best Plants to Grow on Your Balcony, No Matter How Sunny or Shady it Is," 4 Oct. 2019 Lined with beautiful boxwoods and handsome hydrangeas, this garden has become a beloved space that regularly plays host to gatherings, but also serves as a quiet space to find respite from everyday stressors. al, "Get a glimpse into this beautiful Alabama garden," 6 Apr. 2020 Some, like rhododendrons, azaleas, blueberries and hydrangeas, have shallow roots and are especially vulnerable. oregonlive, "Utah serviceberry brought to Oregon infected with rust: Ask an expert," 9 Nov. 2019 At a Whole Foods in Manhattan, shoppers on a recent evening spaced themselves out to socially distance alongside potted hydrangeas for $18 and bagged soil for $5. Laura Reiley, Anchorage Daily News, "The industry says we have enough food. Here’s why some store shelves are empty anyway.," 15 Apr. 2020 Urban Orchid, with locations in Ohio City and Little Italy, has Easter lilies, tulip plants, hydrangeas and orchids and candy baskets Thursday morning. Mary Kilpatrick, cleveland, "Cleveland florists are still open for delivery, so you can send Easter flowers to loved ones," 9 Apr. 2020 The hydrangea plants that Eli and Marlena used to race between no longer stood in the backyard. Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post, "For one non-binary teen, coming of age means getting their parents to embrace a new name," 20 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hydrangea.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of hydrangea

circa 1753, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for hydrangea

borrowed from New Latin, genus name, from Greek hydr- hydr- + New Latin -angēa, feminine derivative from Greek angeîon "vessel, container" — more at angio-

Note: The genus name dates from linnaeus's Species plantarum, vol. 1 (1753), p. 397. Linnaeus took the name from Jan Frederik Gronovius and John Clayton's Flora Virginica, pars prima (Leiden, 1739), p. 50. Since the 19th century the name Hydrangea, taken to mean "water vessel," is said to refer to the "cup-like form of the seed-capsule" (hence Oxford English Dictionary, first edition, 1899). However, Gronovius, presumably the immediate author of the text, gives no indication of the name's significance. He describes the fruit of Hydrangea arborescens as "a small two-chambered vessel filled with tiny seeds, crowned with two small threads or little horns bent backward" ("…vasculo parvo bicapsulari seminibus minutissimis repleto, duobus parvis filamentis seu corniculis recurvis cornato"). This accords well with pictures of the plant's small seed capsules, though it takes some imagination to see an individual capsule as a water vessel.

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Time Traveler for hydrangea

Time Traveler

The first known use of hydrangea was circa 1753

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Last Updated

9 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Hydrangea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hydrangea. Accessed 8 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for hydrangea


hy·​dran·​gea | \ hī-ˈdrān-jə How to pronounce hydrangea (audio) \

Medical Definition of hydrangea

1 capitalized : a large genus of widely distributed shrubs and one woody vine (family Saxifragaceae) with opposite leaves and showy clusters of usually sterile white, pink, or bluish flowers
2 : any plant of the genus Hydrangea
3 : the dried rhizome and roots of the wild plant of the genus Hydrangea (H. arborescens) formerly used in pharmacy as a diuretic

More from Merriam-Webster on hydrangea

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about hydrangea

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