plant named ‘NCHA5’

A new and distinct Hydrangea cultivar named ‘NCHA5’ is disclosed, characterized by large, mop-head inflorescences with white sepals. Plant habit is dwarf and rounded with strong stems. Plants are triploid. The new variety is a Hydrangea normally produced as an outdoor garden or container plant.

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Latin name of the genus and species: Hydrangea arborescens.

Variety denomination: ‘NCHA5’.


The present invention comprises a new and distinct Hydrangea cultivar hereinafter referred to by the cultivar name ‘NCHA5’. This new Hydrangea was developed through a breeding program at North Carolina State University, Mills River, N.C. ‘NCHA5’ was selected from a population of seedlings that resulted from a cross of Hydrangea arborescens ‘H2009-068-007’ (unpatented pollen parent) and Hydrangea arborescens ‘H2008-143-001’ (unpatented seed parent). See FIG. 1 for a complete pedigree. The first asexual propagation of ‘NCHA5’ was carried out in July 2012 by rooting stem cuttings at the North Carolina State University, Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station, Mills River, N.C. and has been asexually reproduced repeatedly by vegetative cuttings over a two year period. ‘NCHA5’ roots readily from softwood cuttings treated with a basal dip of 2,500-5,000 ppm indole butyric acid (potassium salt) in water. ‘NCHA5’ has been found to retain its distinctive characteristics through successive asexual propagations.


The following are the unique combination of characteristics of this new cultivar when grown under standard horticultural practices at Mills River, N.C.

    • 1. Large mop-head inflorescences with white florets.
    • 2. Triploid cytotype.
    • 3. Dwarf, rounded habit with strong stems.


Table 1 shows distinguishing characteristics between ‘NCHA5’ and other cultivars of H. arborescens. ‘NCHA5’ has a unique combination of traits including large inflorescenses with white sepals, a dwarf habit, and a triploid cytotype.

‘NCHA5’ is similar in most horticultural characteristics to the seed parent variety, unpatented. The new variety however differs in the following:

    • 1. ‘NCHA5’ has white sepals, sepals of the seed parent are light red-purple.

‘NCHA5’ is similar in most horticultural characteristics to the pollen parent variety, unpatented. The new variety however differs in the following:

    • 1. ‘NCHA5’ has white sepals, sepals of the ‘NCHA3’ are red-purple.

Hydrangea ‘NCHA5’ can also be compared to the commercial varieties Hydrangea ‘NCHA4’, USSP 28,280 and ‘NCHA3’, USPP 28,317 which have the same parents as ‘NCHA5’, but, reversed as seed and pollen parents. ‘NCHA5’ differs from ‘NCHA4’ in the following characteristic:

    • 1. ‘NCHA5’ has white sepals, sepals of ‘NCHA4’ are red-purple.

‘NCHA5’ differs from ‘NCHA3’ in the following characteristics:

    • 1. ‘NCHA5’ has white sepals, sepals of ‘NCHA3’ are dark red-purple.

TABLE 1 Comparison to other cultivars. Taxa H. aborescens H. ‘NCHA1’ H. arborescens (U.S. Plant arborescens ‘NCHA7’ Trait Pat. No. 20,765) ‘’ (15/731,344) Ploidy level Diploid Triploid Triploid (genome (2.7) (3.9) (3.9) size, pg) Growth Rounded Rounded, Rounded habit dwarf Height and 100 cm × 35 cm × 80 cm × width 100 cm 55 cm 80 cm Stem 5 to 15 cm Avg. 7 cm Avg. 6 cm internode (4 to 10.5 cm) (4 to 7 cm) length Flower count Fertile Approx. 600 Approx. 450 Approx. 50 Sterile Approx. 600 Approx. 900 Approx. 200 Corymb 8-20 cm Avg. 16 cm Avg. 14 cm diameter Sepal color Above Red-Purple White (155A) to Red-Purple (ranges from White (N155D) (60C) 68D/C to N66D/N66C) Below Red-Purple White (155A) Red-Purple (ranges from White (N155D) (60A) 68D/C to N66D/N66C) Sepal Length 0.5-0.7 cm Avg. 0.5 cm Avg. 0.8 cm Width 0.3-0.5 cm Avg. 0.4 cm Avg. 0.8 cm Taxa H. H. arborescens arborescens ‘PIIHA-I’ ‘NCHA8’ (U.S. Plant Trait (15/731,345) Pat. No. 21,227) Ploidy level Triploid Unknown (genome (3.9) size, pg) Growth Rounded Upright, habit spreading Height and 60 cm × 90 cm × width 60 cm 90 cm Stem Avg. 7 cm About 6 cm internode (3 to 10 cm) length Flower count Fertile Approx. 500 Approx. 75 Sterile Approx. 300 Approx. 300 Corymb Avg. 14 cm Avg. 12.5 diameter Sepal color Above Yellow-Green Close to Red- (145C) fading Purple (58A) to Green- White (157C) Below Yellow-Green Close to Red- (145D) Purple (63A) Sepal Length Avg. 0.5 cm 0.7 cm Width Avg. 0.3 cm 0.5 cm


This new Hydrangea is illustrated by the accompanying photographs which show the plant's form, foliage and inflorescences. The colors shown are as true as can be reasonably obtained by conventional photographic procedures. Colors in the photographs may differ slightly from the color values cited in the detailed botanical description, which accurately describe the colors of the new Hydrangea.

FIG. 1 Shows the pedigree of ‘NCHA5’.

FIG. 2 Shows the inflorescence and plant form of a two-year-old plant of ‘NCHA5’ growing in Mills River, N.C.

FIG. 3 Shows the white mop-head inflorescence of a two-year-old plant of ‘NCHA5’ growing in Mills River, N.C.


The following is a detailed description of the botanical characteristics of the new and distinct Hydrangea variety plant known by the denomination ‘NCHA5’. The detailed description was taken on a two-year-old field-grown plant in Mills River, N.C. in 2016. All colors cited herein refer to The Royal Horticultural Society Colour Chart (The Royal Horticultural Society (R.H.S.), London, Sixth Edition, 2015). Where specific dimensions, sizes, colors, and other characteristics are given, it is to be understood that such characteristics are approximations or averages set forth as accurately as practicable.

  • Classification:
      • Botanical name.—Hydrangea arborescens ‘NCHA5’.
      • Common name.—Smooth Hydrangea.
  • Parentage: ‘NCHA5’ originated as a seedling that resulted from a cross of H. arborescens ‘H2009-068-007’ and H. arborescens ‘H2008-143-001’.
  • Plant:
      • Growth habit.—Rounded.
      • Height (from top of soil including inflorescences).—About 35 cm.
      • Width (including inflorescences).—About 55 cm.
      • Shoot and stem.—Length: 30 cm (20 to 35 cm). Diameter: 0.6 cm (0.3 to 0.8 cm). Internode length: 7 cm (4 to 10.5 cm). Immature shoot texture (current year): Pubescent. Immature shoot color (current year): Yellow-Green (146C). Mature stem texture (from prior year): Glabrous, exfoliating. Mature stem color (from prior year): Grey-Brown (199D).
      • Branching habit.—Freely branching with 30-50 shoots.
  • Foliage:
      • Type.—Simple.
      • Persistence.—Deciduous.
      • Arrangement.—Opposite.
      • Shape.—Broadly ovate.
      • Apex.—Acuminate.
      • Base.—Acute to rounded.
      • Venation.—Pinnate, opposite to subopposite.
      • Vein color.—Upper: Yellow-Green (148B). Lower: Yellow-Green (148D).
      • Margins.—Dentate to serrate.
      • Texture.—Upper surface: Slightly pubescent. Lower surface: Slightly pubescent.
      • Emerging leaves.—Color: Upper and lower: Green (136B).
      • Mature leaves during growing season.—Color: Upper: Green (137A). Lower: Yellow-Green (146A to 146B). Length of lamina: Avg. 8.5 cm (5.5 to 11 cm). Width: Avg. 7.5 cm (4 to 10.5 cm).
      • Leaf attachment.—Petiolate.
      • Petiole.—Length: Avg. 1.5 cm (0.5 to 2 cm). Diameter: Avg. 0.2 cm (0.1 to 0.3 cm). Color: Yellow-Green (146C).
  • Inflorescence:
      • Description.—Fertile (approximately 450) and sterile (approximately 900) flowers arranged on individual hemispherical or dome-shaped terminal, compound corymbs.
      • Flowering season.—Late May to late June in Mills River, N.C.
      • Corymb.—Diameter: Average 16 cm (12 to 19 cm). Height: Average 8 cm (6 to 10 cm). Quantity: Often 50 corymbs per plant over the flowering season. Longevity: Showy for approximately 4 weeks.
      • Sterile flowers.—Petals, pistils and stamens are greatly reduced (<0.5 mm) and insignificant. Buds: Shape: Oval. Diameter: 0.2 cm. Color: Yellow-Green (148D). Sepals: Number: 2 to 4. Length: Avg. 0.5 cm (0.3 to 0.7 cm). Width: Avg. 0.4 cm (0.3 to 0.5 cm). Shape: Ovate. Apex: Mucronate to rounded. Base: Rounded. Margin: Entire. Texture: Glabrous. Color: Upper: White (155A) to White (N155D). Lower: White (155A) to White (N155D). Sepal overlap: Very slightly at base.
      • Fertile flowers.—Sepals and petals are greatly reduced (<0.5 mm) and insignificant. Buds: Shape: Round. Diameter: 0.2 cm. Color: Yellow-Green (148C). Width: 0.2 cm. Height: 0.2 cm.
  • Reproductive organs:
      • Gynoecium.—Pistil number: 2, fused. Pistil color: White (155B). Pistil length: 0.1 cm. Stigma shape: Blunt. Stigma diameter: 0.05 cm. Style length: 0.1 cm. Ovary shape: Rounded. Ovary diameter: 0.1 cm.
      • Androecium.—Stamen number: 10. Anther: Shape: Rounded, fusiform. Length: 0.05 cm. Color: White (158D). Filament: Length: 0.1 cm. Color: White (158D). Amount of pollen: None observed.
  • Other characteristics:
  • Fruit/seed set: Seeds are minute, dust-like.
  • Disease and insect resistance: No significant resistance nor susceptibility to disease or insect pests have been observed.
  • Cold hardiness: At least USDA zone 6b; testing has not been completed in colder zones.


1. A new and distinct cultivar of Hydrangea arborescens plant named ‘NCHA5’ as illustrated and described herein.

Patent History
Patent number: PP30296
Type: Grant
Filed: May 30, 2017
Date of Patent: Mar 19, 2019
Patent Publication Number: 20180352699
Assignee: North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC)
Inventor: Thomas Green Ranney (Arden, NC)
Primary Examiner: Susan McCormick Ewoldt
Application Number: 15/731,346
Current U.S. Class: Hydrangea (PLT/250)
International Classification: A01H 5/00 (20180101); A01H 6/48 (20180101);