Hydrangea amacha

Hydrangea amacha

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Group of the "Amacha" (sweet tea)

This group of plants belongs to a broader set of hydrangea, called Yama, originating in the mountainous areas of Japan (Yama trad. Mountain) and all classifiable in the serrata species.
The fundamental element that distinguishes the Amacha from Yama is the "flavor" of the leaf.
In fact, the Amacha, if chewed, show a marked sweet taste. Excluding DNA tests, this seems to be the only way to consider Amachas separately from Yama. The scientific reason why plants of the same group of siviluppino a feature so different is still unknown today.
The infusion obtained from the leaves of Amacha has had, and still has, multiple uses, both in herbal medicine and as a substitute for sugar, and for religious celebrations. The best known is the "Kambutsu-e" ritual, a ceremony that recalls the birth of Buddha.
The sweet tea of ​​ortnesia, which many plant and herbalist enthusiasts will surely have already had the pleasure of trying, is an extract obtained from the leaves of these varieties.
There are a dozen varieties of hydrangeas amacha, but the most widespread and cultivated are those of which we will speak shortly, namely the Yae-No-Amacha, the Amagi - Amacha and finally the Oamacha.

Yae-No- Amacha

The first variety we want to talk about is Yae-No-Amacha. In short, the salient features of this species of hydrangea amacha:
Height: 100 centimeters
Leaf: oval, bright green with acute apex, serrated edge
Flowering: June July
Inflorescence: lacecap or spherical.
Rather rare bush, with a double flower of a delicate pinkish white color conditioned by the PH of the soil. The inflorescence is generally of the lacecap type but, sometimes, it can
also be spherical. This plant, discovered quite recently (around 1960) by Shigeru Tada, represents one of the most graceful cultivars of the Amacha group.

Amagi - Amacha

Another very interesting variety is the Amagi, a 1 meter high amacha hydrangea that blooms between June and garlic producing a beautiful bush full of flowers. Here are its salient features.
Height: About 100 centimeters
Leaf: oval-lanceolate, bright green, acute apex, serrated edge.
Flowering: abundant in June-July
Inflorescence: lacecap. The flowers, sterile and fertile, are white.
Bush from the mountains of the Izu Peninsula, Japan.
Plant with a very elegant and wild appearance, whose bearing, combined with the beautiful
foliage and small white inflorescences, makes it truly unique.

Hydrangea amacha: Oamacha

Finally we talk about the Oamacha, a beautiful hydrangea amacha that appeals to the many flowers it produces between June and July and the very ornamental foliage.
Height: About 100 centimeters
Leaf: oval, toothed margin with tight apex
Flowering: June July
Inflorescence: lacecap, numerous fertile flowers, sterile flowers arranged in a crown
Plant traditionally known in Japan, it is appreciated both as an ornamental bush and for the sugary taste of the leaves that are destined for multiple uses, of which, the most common, is a delicious infusion.
The beautiful green of the foliage is punctuated by elegant brown-red spots. The inflorescence is of the lacecap type, very regular, almost geometric. The fertile flowers are numerous and pinkish in color. The sterile flowers have rounded, more intense but nuanced pink sepals. Absolutely not to be missed, even in a small collection!