A week of flowers 2022, Day three

Cathy’s Words and Herbs’ challenge for one week.

South African Christmas Roses

While we think Hellebores are Christmas Roses, Hydrangeas are commonly known as Christmas Roses in South Africa. They are appreciated as prolific bloomers. While we freeze in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas is hot in the Southern Hemisphere. Hydrangeas begin blooming in November there and continue flowering into the New Year. Here, the summer’s showy Hydrangea flowers are spent shadows of their former glory until Jack Frost makes them sparkle anew.

Origin and Colours

Hydrangea bush

Hydrangeas are neither indigenous to the UK or South Africa. The popular Hydrangea macrophylla is native to Japan. It has been naturalised in a number countries across the world. The flowers are noted for their colour variations according to soil pH. Hydrangea macrophylla come in shades of blue, red, pink, light purple or dark purple. Acidic soil produces a blue flower, while an alkaline soil tends towards pink.

Plant Family

The Hydrangea genus belongs in the Hydrangeaceae or Hortensia family and Cornales order. There are around 66 species in the genus. The name Hydrangea originates from the Greek words for water (hydor) and a vase/vessel (angeio). It refers to the seed capsules.

UK Frost


Hydrangea flowers have long gone over at Christmas in the UK. The russet-edged flowers can still add interest to the garden. They look particularly interesting in the first frost. The old flowerhead can be gathered, dried and incorporated into Christmas wreaths.


16 thoughts on “A week of flowers 2022, Day three

  1. Krismis rose, dis ‘n baie mooi blom! Ek dink ek het al vir jou vertel … ons het, in 1996, hope en hope van hierdie Krismis rose droog gemaak en toe groen gekleur om op ons troudag te gebruik vir versiering in ons onthaal saal – dit het lieflik gelyk!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I didn’t know they are called Christmas roses in Africa. How nice to have them blooming right now! They like a lot of moisture, so I don’t have much luck with them here. Thanks for sharing Aletta! πŸ˜ƒ

    Liked by 1 person

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