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 The toxic component of the hydrangea is called cyanogenic glycoside. Jennifer Nelson, Southern Living, 17 June 2021 The bouquet had only two peonies, four stems of mini green hydrangea and alstroemeria, a cheap flower. Marni Jameson, orlandosentinel.com, 28 May 2021 In the autumn months, this hydrangea's foliage turns to a showy deep red color. Southern Living, 12 May 2021 For best results, grow 'Little Honey' hydrangea in a spot with full sun or part shade. Southern Living, 12 May 2021 Front yards blooming with showy hydrangea shrubs can be dreamy, but there are other ways to enjoy these favorite flowers at home. Grace Haynes, Southern Living, 21 Apr. 2021 Keep the planting site acidic to maintain a blue hydrangea. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, 27 Mar. 2021 This bouquet of pink and ivory roses with carnations, hydrangea and eucalyptus is the stuff their spring dreams are made of. Tanya Edwards, CNN Underscored, 26 Mar. 2021 Some were imported for their beauty; ornate shrubs such as the buttercup winterhazel, star magnolia and peegee hydrangea all reached North America for the first time in a single shipment to the Parsons & Sons Nursery in Flushing in 1862. New York Times, 20 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

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.

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About hydrangea

Time Traveler for hydrangea

Time Traveler

The first known use of hydrangea was circa 1753

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near hydrangea



hydrangea blue

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for hydrangea

Last Updated

24 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Hydrangea.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hydrangea. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!