It is with the fascinating history of their name that the history of hydrangeas begins: it was the French "hunter of plants" Philibert de Commerson who in 1771 thus baptized some specimens from the East Indies in honor of Hortense de Nassau, daughter of the prince of Nassau, botanical enthusiast, who had accompanied him on an expedition.
And it is always their name, although this time the botanical one, Hydrangea, which leads us from a kind princess to a terrifying mythological figure: it is Hydra, with snake-shaped hair similar to the roughness present above the capsule containing the seeds of this plant .
Meaning name hydrangeas
The most widely shared opinion, however, is that of the derivation of the name Hydrangea from the two Greek words hydros (water) and angeion (jar), due to the particular shape of the capsules containing the seeds, which resemble small basins of water. An ancient plant, of which fossil traces have been found that can be placed in the tertiary era and in subsequent periods (oligocene-myocene), it was introduced in European countries almost simultaneously, around the middle of the 1700s. In England there was talk of hydrangea in 1736, it was an arborescens from Pennsylvania.
In America, I quote Corinne Mallet's text "Hydrangeas species and cultivars" to the letter; the name Hudrangea appeared for the first time in the text of the naturalist Gronovius (Flora Virginica - 1739).