I am completely obsessed. I first saw this beautiful and interesting Hydrangea in the book 'Lois Hole's Favorite Trees and Shrubs'. I started browsing the Hydrangea aisles more carefully, but never came across one.
During a quick trip through the garden centre of a hardware store, I spotted 2, in amongst some Limelight and Little Lamb. I bought one for myself, and one for a friend (well I couldn't just leave it there, could I?).
Since planting it mid-summer, I've been crazy about it. It is my first Hydrangea, and I have since added 2 Uniques. I'm also considering a Limelight, and possibly an Endless Summer, if I can manage to keep the soil acidified enought to maintain the beautiful blue colour.
'Kyushu' is hardy to zone 3, when grown in a sheltered location, and grows to 8-10ft tall and wide, It is often trained (or grafted?) to a treeform, and then makes a wonderful focal point in a formal setting. There are lots of images of the treeform variety online if anyone is interested in seeing one.
The panicles are around 8 inches long, and have only 10% showy sterile florets. This gives them a very open and airy shape, and they are easily held up by the branches.
This beautiful plant is named after the Japanese island where it comes from. For those of you who love Hydrangeas, there is a wealth of information (& photos) on many varieties in the Royal Horticultural Society 'Hydrangea paniculata Trials Bulletin', available here.
What is your plant obsession?