5 secrets of hydrangeas: Is a hydrangea poisonous?

5 secrets of hydrangeas: Is a hydrangea poisonous?
June is the season of a hydrangea. Though traveling during the season that rains a lot is not very easy, looking for hydrangeas that wet gently in the rain, please do sightseeing by all means.
The previous issue introduced you tothe famous spots of hydrangeas nationwide, and this issue will introduce to the secrets of hydrangeas.
Hydrangeas viewing will become more fun for sure.

1. Hydrangeas have poisons

 德島 大川原高原  紫陽花
▲Reference: 德島 大川原高原
Do you know the rumor that hydrangeas have poisons?
Having said that, however, actually, the constitute of hydrangeas poison has not yet revealed.

In 1920, in America, there was a case that a housestock that ate hydrangeas was developed poisoning, and after the case, the poison became called for attention.
Also, in 2008 in Japan, there was a case that 8 persons out of 10 who ate the leaf of hydrangea that accompanied to the dish in a restaurant of Tsukuba city, Ibaraki prefecture, had developed symptoms of nausea and dizziness. Also, in the same year, there was a case that a person at Izakaya (a Japanese drinking place) in Osaka city, developed symptoms of nausea and facial flushing.

As there is no concern if one does not eat, let's be careful that pets or children will not eat it by mistake.
Reference: http://www.mhlw.go.jp/stf/seisakunitsuite/bunya/0000082116.html

2. A reason why many temples have hydrangeas

 日本寺院 資福寺 仙台
▲Reference: 仙台 資福寺紫陽花
There are many temples that have nicknames of "hydrangeas temple" nationwide.
Among them, I suppose that famous are Meigetsu in temple and jojuin temple in Kamakura, Kannonji temple and Sanzenin temple in Kyoto.
And why then in temples hydrangeas are often planted? In the past, epidemics broke out everywhere in Japan during the rainy seasons, and as a result, there were many dead. It is said that temples planted hydrangeas that bloom during the rainy seasons for showing mourning for the death. Later, even after less people die for epidemics during the rainy seasons because of the evolution of medical technology, a hydrangea has been kept planted in the grounds of temples for easiness to cultivate and for its beauty.


3. Color changes depending on acidity of the soil

Alias of hydrangea is "Shichi Henge" (changes 7 times. In the past, in Kabuki show, in which the actor quickly changes his clothes seven times). The colors of hydrangeas' flowers change according to acidity of the land. When the soil is acid, it turns to blue, and if neutral or weak alkaline, turns to pink.
 紫陽花 繡球花

4. The place of origin of hydrangeas is Japan

 紫陽花 繡球花
▲Reference: 那智の滝
The place of origin of hydrangeas is Japan. Even in the oldest waka (a 31‐syllable Japanese poem) -collection "Man'youshu (8th century anthology of Japanese poetry)", a hydrangea is registered as "Ajisai" (in two different sets of Chinese characters), and it has been growing in wild for a long time. But, there was a time that it was treated with hostility, being called as a ghost flower, because its blue-white color seems creepy. It migrated to Europe in 18th century, and was improved. And it was re-imported to Japan, and a hydrangea became popular.

5. The language of a hydrangea

The language of a hydrangea are various, and also are different depending on colors.
"Caprice, indifferent, cruel, arrogance, heartless, perseverance" are the language of a hydrangea in Europe, though if anything it shows series of negative words.
In Japan, there are many "gathering" imaged language of a hydrangea, such as "happy family circle, solidarity, peace, friendship".By the way, the language of a pink hydrangea in France is "a cheerful woman".
 紫陽花 繡球花

That's for all, and I have told you five secrets.
Please check also this issue if you feel like seeing zekkei (great view) of a hydrangea.


Related Articles

See all Latest articles

フォトコンテスト結果発表

This month's top destinations

Recommended destinations (Jun. to Jul.)

Introduction of Japan's national parks