Hydrangea color variations in sepals
Hydrangea’s sepals vary in color, beautifully ranging anywhere between red and blue, such as purple, lavender, and violet. The variation is due to the acidity of the soil and the amount of aluminum. More detailed explanation is covered in the next post.
I wrote “sepal,” not petal, but that’s not a typo. Some flowers, like hydrangea, lack petals. These petal-like leaflets at the outermost whorl of the flowers are called sepals. Sepals in other flowers are usually green and form protective casing over the buds. In cases that both petals and sepals look alike, such as in lilies and orchids, they are collectively called tepals.
Here’s a challenge. Next time you see a flower, ask yourself if what you see are sepals, petals, or tepals. Marie Harrison’s article is very helpful in telling them apart.
Pictured above in the foreground is one of the cultivars of Hydrangea macrophylla, Lilacina. (Or so I believe… If you know otherwise, please correct me in the comments section!)