This white mophead reminds me of when an owner looks like their dog; in this case it's how the serrations on the sterile floret sepals match the serrations on the leaves - they are both accentuated on Mme. Emile Mouillere - really ruffly and busy. I like it. It's a little fussy and old-fashioned looking.
There aren't too many white mopheads in circulation, and they all are truly different from each other. Once you learn this one, bingo, every time you see it (which won't be too often) you'll probably exclaim verbatim, "look, that's Madame Emile Mouillere white mophead hydrangea!" Or something very close to that mouthful.
It's free flowering, which is another way of saying Madame sure does flower a lot.
It was pointed out to us that the sterile floret centers ("eyes") turn blue in acid and pink in alkaline soils. In the picture, the flowers are just opening and the centers are green.
Similar to the eyes, flowers age a pale blue tint or a pale pink tint, depending on soil pH. We've included two pictures that show this lovely pink or blue tinting. In our experience, the white phase lasts several weeks, eventually tinting as described.
Mme. Emil Mouillere bigleaf hydrangea, bigleaf hydrangea, french hydrangea, mophead hydrangea, hydrangea, hortensia
USDA Hardiness Zones
flowering shrub, deciduous
- Spring: medium green
- Summer: medium green
- Fall: red, orange
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 Mme. Emile Mouillere rich soil plus consistent moisture in a soil that drains. It may require extra watering, but avoid standing water. Grow it in 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. Full sun is okay farther north. For flowering in cold climates, situate it in a warm sheltered location. During the ups and downs of spring temps here in Zone 8a - we cover to protect flower buds.