from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Any of various shrubs of the genus Hydrangea, having opposite leaves and large, flat-topped or rounded clusters of white, pink, or blue flowers.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A genus of shrubs or herbs, of the natural order Saxifrageæ, type of the tribe Hydrangeæ, containing about 33 species, natives of Asia and America, characterized by having the ovary inferior, 4 or 5 valvate petals, 4 or 5 styles, free or connate at base, the fruit a capsule, and the leaves deciduous or persistent.
  • noun [lowercase] A plant of this genus.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • (Bot.) A genus of shrubby plants bearing opposite leaves and large heads of showy flowers, white, or of various colors. Hydrangea hortensis, the common garden species, is a native of China or Japan.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun Any of several shrubs, of the genus Hydrangea, having large clusters of white, pink or blue flowers

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun any of various deciduous or evergreen shrubs of the genus Hydrangea


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[New Latin Hydrangēa, genus name : hydr(o)– + Greek angeion, vessel (from the cuplike shape of their seed capsules ); see angio–.]


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  • "Commerson found many new plant specimens on the trip, including two that would spread to the New World. He rewarded the Bodeuse's captain by giving his name to the gorgeous bougainvillea shrub with blossoms in luscious colors of lavender, coral, magenta, and cream. Commerson also introduced Europeans to the hydrangea, which he found in China."

    --Joyce Appleby, Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination (New York and London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2013), p. 191

    December 28, 2016