Ruffles anyone? Me, me, me!
Frillibet is the most ruffly hydrangea we have (the white-flowered Mme. Emile Mouillère being another one).
Flower color is in the pastel group of mopheads, with delicately pale pink or blue flowers (depending on soil pH). The individual florets start out creamy, then open pastel with a creamy center, over time more of the floret becomes blue, sometimes with a hint of cream remaining in the center.
This is one of the larger hydrangeas - give it room to become a 5-6' mound from side-to-side and top to bottom.
For the history buffs like myself, I'm going to quote the van Gelderen Hydrangea book because this tidbit is so interesting!
This cultivar is a branch sport of the well-known 'Madame Emile Mouillère, but despite it's beauty is rarely available in the trade. According to an anecdote, the late Princess Margaret of England called her sister, Queen Elizabeth, Frillibet in her childhood. Selected by Michael Haworth-Booth in the 1950s.
-C.J. and D.M van Gelderen, Encyclopedia of Hydrangeas
Anybody else love the TV program The Crown?
Frillibet bigleaf hydrangea
bigleaf hydrangea, french hydrangea, mophead hydrangea, hydrangea, hortensia
USDA Hardiness Zones
flowering shrub, deciduous
- Spring: medium green
- Summer: medium green
Fall Leaf Color Quality
Soil Moisture Requirements
moist-but-draining, no standing water
Soil pH Requirements
acid, neutral, alkaline
sun, part shade, shade
To Make It Thrive
Give Frillibet hydrangea rich soil and consistent moisture in a soil that drains. It may need extra watering, but doesn't like standing water.
Make sure Frillibet has full shade or afternoon shade in the deep south (zones 8 and 9) not only for the foliage, but so the flowers don't get sun scald. Increasing amounts of sunlight is increasingly tolerable the further north one goes on the map.
Traveling northward, consider planting in warm sheltered locations, such as near heated buildings.
Here in zone 8a, we cover to protect flower buds during spring transition - the up and down temps cause flushes of growth that are then zapped by cold. Covering the growth with old terry cloth towels or thermal blankets generally works to ensure summer flowers.