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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Hydrangea Twist-n-Shout: new re-blooming variety

Posted by Graham Rice on 15 Jul 2010 at 07:01 PM

Hydrangea,Twist-n-Shout,Twist,Shout,Endless Summer,Piihm-I. Image: ©Endless Summer Collection.Hydrangeas that flower all summer are a relatively new innovation but they are now being grown more widely. The Endless Summer Collection started it all off and there’s a new addition to the series now available.

The trick with these repeat flowering hydrangeas is that they flower on both the old growth from the previous season, which produces the earlier flowers, and also the new growth from the current season – this produces the later flowers.

The first of these was simply called Endless Summer ('Bailmer'). It’s a hortensia (mophead type) and like most hydrangeas it makes a rounded plant 0.9-1.5m/3-5ft high and across. Not only does it flower all summer but the large heads are crowded with flowers and there’s also bronze autumn colour.

Next came ‘Blushing Bride’ with semi-double white flowers blushing as they age. And now we have the latest in the series, Twist-n-Shout (‘Piihm-I’).

Twist-n-Shout is the first lacecap in the Endless Summer series. Its broad lacecap heads are delightful and it has another very attractive feature – the stems are red, a colouring it derives from one of its parents ‘Lady in Red’.

The story of these re-blooming hydrangeas began in 1998. Dr. Michael Dirr, America’s leading woody plant expert, was visiting a nursery in Minnesota when a hydrangea caught his eye. It had been picked out by one of the nursery’s staff but since then had been largely ignored. Dr Dirr took cuttings back to his base at the University of Georgia where the plant proved to be perpetual flowering. That was the original Endless Summer.

As with all these hydrangeas, the flower colour largely depends on the soil – acid soil gives blue flowers, alkaline soil gives pink flowers.

You can order Endless Summer Twist-n-Shout from these RHS Plant Finder nurseries.


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