During the 2019 edition of Salon du Végétal in Nantes, France, the interspecific ‘French Bolero’, a hybrid of H. macrophylla x H. scandens, introduced by HW2, a consortium of breeders and producers of hydrangeas in the Angers area, was awarded best novelty by the Jury in the Innovert competition, plants for horticulture section. The variety has already received a Bronze Medal at the IPM in Essen in February 2019.
See HW2 Hydrangeas Worldwide (French)The parental species H. scandens, native to Japan, is not among the most cultivated hydrangeas in Western countries: from this species the hybrid has inherited the feature of flowering on all the branches from the base, even from the side buds, and not only from the apical ones, such as in most Hydrangeas. The plant is somewhat reminiscent of a very successful recently introduced Hortensia, the H. macrophylla ‘Runaway Bride’ (that has some ancestry from H. angustipetala), with white flowers, that has won the Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show 2018.
‘French Bolero’ has bright pink inflorescences, similar to those of H. macrophylla, which can turn into an acidic substrate in a sky-blue tending to light purple. The flowering, more plentiful if plants are not pruned, is very prolonged, and the habit remains pleasantly compact. Image thanks to: Promesse de Fleurs and general site.