yellowbear

31 Jul 2020 129 views
 
supporter of
atom rss 1.0 rss 2.0
web browser google del.icio.us digg technorati
| lost password
birth date
cancel
photoblog image Hydrangea

Hydrangea

One of my favourite plants. There are 3 in the garden. This one is in the front as is the oldest. 

Hydrangea

One of my favourite plants. There are 3 in the garden. This one is in the front as is the oldest. 

comments (18)

L'hortensia est une jolie plante. Il y en a beaucoup chez moi.
Bill Phillips: There are so many varieties now
this has a nice ebb and flow to it
Bill Phillips: You are right Rob..it does!
I love Hydrangeas...I had numerous bushes of them at my old place, you can change their colours by putting coal in the roots I'm told. These are lovely Bill.
Bill Phillips: They do change colour if moved from an acid soil to an alkaline one I was told
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 31 Jul 2020, 02:21
What a beautiful image!
Bill Phillips: They are great plants
I don't think I've ever seen one this color! Beautiful shot!
Bill Phillips: The colour can change in different soils depending on the acidity
  • Chris
  • England
  • 31 Jul 2020, 04:37
Not a bad image
Bill Phillips: Not a bad Hydrangea either
I can see why it's one of your favorites, Bill. It does strut itself well in your capable, photographic hands.
Bill Phillips: We have 4 in the garden this is the biggest and oldest
  • Astrid
  • Netherlands
  • 31 Jul 2020, 05:38
I can see why you like these, Bill. Each flower has a flower within a flower. And I so love the colours. And even after bloom they are very decorative.
Bill Phillips: They were very much a part of my childhood as they were everywhere in Devon
  • Philine
  • Germany
  • 31 Jul 2020, 06:21
My favourite plants, too - I like your image! I have a big blue-violet hydrangea on my balcony.
Bill Phillips: I saw an item about them on Television and there are many more varieties than I had realised
  • Chad
  • Somewhere in deep space
  • 31 Jul 2020, 07:03
We had a number in the garden but, one by one they died off with the cold. We have two left, whicH have survived and thrived.
Bill Phillips: My grandmother was amazed that we had them growing in the garden in Exeter. Oop north they we're a house plant at that time
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 31 Jul 2020, 07:04
For starters, the bloom of the hydrangea is not a true flower, but an inflorescence: Sepals, or modified leaves, make up most of the bloom and overshadow the small, almost unnoticeable fertile floral portions at the center.

Hydrangea colors are not what they seem, either; they are not the result of a variety of different pigments, as is the case for flowers such as roses or tulips. They are more akin to the colors seen in litmus paper, the chemically treated strips classically used to determine whether solutions are acidic or basic. At the molecular level, acids are proton (or hydrogen ion) donators and bases are proton acceptors in chemical reactions. When one dips blue litmus paper into an acidic solution (pH < 7, where pH is a measure of the concentration of hydrogen ions), the paper turns red, whereas red litmus paper changes to blue in the presence of a basic solution (pH > 7).

In a similar fashion, the color of many hydrangea blooms acts as a natural pH indicator for the soil in which the plant grows. Such blooms have blue sepals when the shrub grows in acidic soil, but develop red or pink sepals when grown in neutral to basic soils. The hydrangea’s bloom color reveals the pH of the soil, but with its distinguishing colors being the reverse of those for litmus paper. The hydrangea is unique among plants in this ability to indicate soil acidity.

Because of this trait, gardeners can chemically manipulate hydrangea bloom colors using soil additives. In fact, a hydrangea can have different bloom colors on the same bush if the roots of the plant sample soils of differing pH. Homespun recipes abound for changing the pink blooms of a hydrangea to blue: pouring vinegar or lemon juice on the soil; mulching the plant with coffee grounds, citrus fruit rinds, or pine tree needles; or burying rusty nails, old tin cans, or copper pennies next to the bush. All these strategies tend to turn soil more acidic, and eventually transform the bloom color to blue.

Hydrangea colors turn out to be even more complicated that that, however. Soil acidity actually is not the underlying chemical mechanism behind the color change. The answer goes even deeper into the connection between soil composition and sepal color— a connection that has inspired our ongoing research into the biochemistry of these flowering plants.

Hydrangea colors ultimately depend on the availability of aluminum ions (Al3+) within the soil. The role of aluminum has been known since the 1940s, but it did not reach the mainstream horticultural literature until about the past two decades, and the exact mechanism was only recently defined. Aluminum ions are mobile in acidic soil because of the ready availability of other ions they can react with, which can be taken up into the hydrangea to the bloom where they interact with the normally red pigment. But in neutral to basic soil, the ions combine with hydroxide ions (OH-) to form immobile aluminum hydroxide, Al(OH)3. Consequently, for the bluing of hydrangea blooms, one needs both aluminum ions and acidic soil. The best soil additive for bluing is one that contributes both, such as commercially available aluminum sulfate, Al2(SO4)3. Conversely, if one wishes to change blue-blooming hydrangea to red-blooming, adding lime (calcium hydroxide, Ca(OH)2) results in basic soil and the desired color transition.

However, such imposed red-to-blue or blue-to-red color changes do not happen instantaneously; it often takes one or two growing seasons to instill the desired color on shrubs within one’s flower gardens.

All this comes from the "American Scientist" an article by Henry Schreiber.
Bill Phillips: Interesting article. I knew about the sepals. We had blue ones down in Devon. I must try getting some Aluminium sulphate and see what happens!
Good snap but they are far from my own personal favourite
Bill Phillips: We all have our favourites. This one is partly nostalgic for me
They are out in full force around here. I love them but do not have any myself. I love the blue ones especially.
Bill Phillips: Louis's comment is interesting Care
Nice shot Bill, Maureen tells me we have two of these, a white one in the back garden and a pink one out front.
Bill Phillips: They are a delight. I am going to have a go at turning our pink one blue!
Nice one, Bill.
Bill Phillips: Thanks Tom. I am going to have a go at turning it blue!
  • Alan
  • United Kingdom
  • 31 Jul 2020, 17:25
They make for a fine colourful display.
Bill Phillips: I love them
they are very beautiful flowers Bill....petersmile
Bill Phillips: As Louis points out the flowers are the insignificant bit in the middle. What we call the flowers are really modified sepals.
  • sherri
  • Little Rock, Arkansas, USA
  • 4 Aug 2020, 00:22
i've never seen them in this vivid color
Bill Phillips: I have just bought some Aluminium Sulphate to see whether I can turn it blue next year!

Leave a comment

must fill in
[stop comment form]
show
for this photo I'm in a any and all comments icon ShMood©
camera X-T2
exposure mode full manual
shutterspeed 1/640s
aperture f/8.0
sensitivity ISO200
focal length 60.0mm
Purple Bike FridayPurple Bike Frid...
RowerRower
Day LilyDay Lily

Warning