This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V21", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Mr. Parsons in his "notes on the October Monthly," page 355 December number, says the first plant of Hydrangea paniculata introduced to this country, was received at Flushing from Japan, in 1862. Mr. Parsons then goes on to say he has a plant of it trained six feet high, the flowers of which are pendent from it in graceful curves. I think Mr. Parsons means Hydrangea paniculata grandiflora, as his description is very characteristic of this well known plant. Hydrangea paniculata is very different in habit from H. paniculata grandiflora; its panicle of flowers stands erect, without any disposition to droop and does not need support. The distinction in the foliage is however very slight, it being perhaps a little darker in the paniculata, but the flower standing well above the foliage, like the common lilac, makes it in my opinion much the more desirable plant of the two. Either is very effective when planted among Rhododendrons, where their late blooming qualities are especially valuable, and the mingling of their large white flowers with the glossy green foliage of the Rhododendron in August and September is a desideratum. But the flowers of H. paniculata grandi-flora do not long remain white.
The side exposed to the sun soon becomes of a dull pink, or rather of a dirty brown color; the heavy panicle of flowers needs support, and even then the plant is rather ungainly looking. H. paniculata on the contrary needs no support, and the flower retains its white color much longer. It is therefore in my opinion, a much more desirable plant than the former. I know nothing of the introduction of H. paniculata, but in all probability it has been in this country as long as the other, which being more showy at first sight, has somewhat overshadowed it. For this reason its propagation has been neglected, and consequently it is yet scarce.