Hydrangea "Lady in Red"
This hydrangea was released in 2005 by the esteemed Michael Dirr of the University of Georgia. The name pays homage to the foliage of the plant rather than the flowers (although red blooms can be produced in soils not acidic). The unique foliage makes this hydrangea truly unique and quite spectacular. Red stems and red-veined leaves appear in the spring and as autumn approaches, the leaves turn a rich maroon/purple. It is described as being mildew resistant and hardy to zone 5 with winter protection.
For me, this hydrangea has been one of the most robust growers in our garden. Planted in a bed with five other hydrangeas, "Lady in Red" left them in the dust, quickly attaining a height of 4' and an equal spread. At this writing, it is already that height but the plant habit is neat and compact and is quite attractive in the landscape.
The blooms are the lacecap type and it is a strong bloomer.
The only thing I don't like about this hydrangea - every time I think about it, that schmaltzy 80s song with the same title starts playing in my head.