This is a panicle hydrangea, in the P.G. Hyrdrangea family. P.G. means paniculata grandifloria
P.G. Hydrangeas are Often Trained into Tree Form so I’m sure the same can be done with Vanilla Strawberry. Hardy in zones 3 to 8 this plant has pretty wide appeal across the U.S. It grows from a height of 6′ to 8′ but of course it can be pruned as much as you like. The one that I photographed was probably about five feet tall.
Perfectly happy in full sun this hydrangea can also tolerate some shade. As a matter of fact, this one in the photo does get some shade from a huge oak tree. This plant is growing about 20′ from my nursery in the neighbor’s yard.
This plant was developed in France in the late 80’s and a U.S. patent was issued in 2010.
Plant Patent? What’s that mean?
That means that you and I are forbidden to propagate this plant whether we want want for Grandma, or whether we want to make hundreds or thousands of them to sell. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? It’s a “thing” and a real part of the plant world today. But here’s the big picture . . .
1. This plant was developed in a controlled environment with the intention of creating a new and superior plant. U.S. patent laws do not allow you to patent a plant this is found growing wild. It has to be in a cultivate setting. Thus the patented is deserved.
2. A plant patent only lasts for 20 years from the date of application so in the grand scheme of things that’s not really a long time. It’s just long enough to give the developer enough time to profit from all of the work they put into the development of the plant without having to compete with others who are only capitalizing on all of their efforts and contributions to the plant world.
3. You and I are still allowed to sell and profit from this plant. We can’t propagate it, but we can buy liners or plugs from a wholesale grower who is licensed to propagate and sell the plant because they have entered into an agreement with the patent holder. Part of that agreement means that they have to charge a royalty on each plant propagated and sold and forward that royalty to the patent holder. Royalties can range from 20 cents to a dollar, maybe more depending on the plant. Things like perennials the royalties are usually under 50 cents, hardy landscape shrubs and trees are typically one dollar per plant. If some are higher I have not experienced that but I’m sure they could be.
Where can you buy this plant?
Hmmmm. That’s the million dollar question. That’s one of the problems with patented plants and the restrictions on growing them. They simply are more difficult to find. I did see some listed on Amazon. A bit pricey, but that’s the advantage of selling things that are not ready available at local garden stores.
I hope to have some at Mike’s Plant Farm this spring but no promises. I tried to find some liners last fall and came up short but I have local a grower friend that does grow this plant. Will he have any left? Who knows?
If these happen to Turn Up in the Members Area I would expect them to be about $4.00 each. We’ll see.
Questions, comments, mean things to say? Post them below and I will respond appropriately.