Annabelle is a stunning white hydrangea, often producing heads over 10 in.
in diameter. Unlike the better known blue and pink hydrangeas (macrophyllas),
Annabelle blooms every year even after severe pruning or intensely cold
winters. The huge, white drumstick blooms appear in profusion without
fail. This spectacular hydrangea is the one we recommend for customers
in colder climates because it flowers on the current year's growth.
Some say it is hardy even into Zones 2 and 3 in the United States (
authorities say to Zone 3). Cut to the ground at the end of winter,
it can achieve a height of six feet and bear masses of huge rounded
heads of white flowers up to ten inches across. Uncut, the shrub can
reach ten feet or more, but the flower heads tend to be smaller. Some
people plant 'Annabelle' as a hedge since it can be cut back severely
in the winter for a tidy effect. Forms of H. arborescens are actually
native to eastern parts of the United States. If your climate is too
harsh to grow macrophyllas, 'Annabelle' would make a wonderful alternative.