Flowers - tshoot
Hydrangea arborescens

Hydrangea arborescens

Smooth hydrangea is widely distributed across the eastern United States—from southern New York to the panhandle of Florida, west to eastern Oklahoma and southeastern Kansas. It is mainly found in moist soils under a hardwood forest canopy and is often common along woodland road banks and streams. It is common in the Delaware River Valley and in the Appalachian Mountains.

The inflorescence of smooth hydrangea is a corymb. The showy, sterile flowers are usually absent or if present they are usually less than 1 cm in diameter. Flowering occurs May to July. Fruit is a ribbed brown capsule about 2 mm long; many are produced.

The leaves of smooth hydrangea are large (8 to 18 cm long), opposite, serrated, ovate, and deciduous. The lower leaf surface is glabrous or with inconspicuous fine hairs, appearing green; trichomes of the lower surface are restricted to the midrib and major veins.

The stem bark has a peculiar tendency to peel off in several successive thin layers with different colors, hence the common name "sevenbark".

Smooth hydrangea can spread rapidly by stolons to form colonies.