‘Hot Chocolate’ is an unusual Hydrangea aspera

Hydrangea aspera ‘Hot Chocolate’ - photo: newPlantsandFlowers

‘Hot Chocolate’ is a summer-flowering Hydrangea aspera with dark brown leaves and large flowers. During the summer months this hydrangea has a profusion of flower heads. The colour combination of this variety’s leaves and flowers is unusual among hydrangeas. The pinkish florets and blue violet lacecap flower heads create a contrast to the chocolate brown foliage.
Hydrangea aspera ‘Hot Chocolate’ has chocolate brown coloured lanceolate leaves which sprout in the spring. The underside of the leaves is burgundy coloured and has a fuzzy velvet-like texture. In the autumn, the leaves change to an ochre-yellow colour with a hint of orange. ‘Hot Chocolate’ thrives on one year-old wood. In March, the dead flowers from the previous year may be snipped off and if necessary, the shrub can be pruned vigorously.
This hydrangea can according to the grower – Oprins in Belgium – grow up to 2 to 3 metres high and up to 2 metres wide. The company showed ‘Hot Chocolate’ on the earlier held Dutch trade show Plantarium. Actually Oprins dedicated the whole booth to this novelty which is bred in the UK. “People are aware about our assortment. So, showing on trade shows the same plants over and over again does not pay off anymore. That’s why we choose for highlighting exclusively this new hydrangea. That worked well”, tells Oprins sales manager Guy Henderieckx.

‘Hot Chocolate’ on Plantarium 2012