Oak-leaf hydrangea, Alabama's State Wildflower

The oak-leaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia Bartr.) is the official State Wildflower of Alabama, and you can see why. Their pearl-white blooms almost seem to glow beneath the forest canopy. This deciduous shrub can be found in every part of the state, from the coastal plains to the Appalachian foothills to the north (at Ruffner, for example!), and deep within deciduous forests to landscaped lawns and home gardens. The striking white flowers turn a deep rose in summer and even deeper in color to burgundy in the fall.