Hydrangea name. Hydrangea or Hortensia. The Latin name, Hydrangea, sums it up nicely: literally, a water vessel or cup: ‘hydro’ (=water) and ‘angeion’ (=tub or jug). The name ‘Hortensia’ (one of the common names of the Hydrangea) was first reported in 1771. It was thought up by the French botanist Philibert Commerson, who presumably named the plant after a woman. Different ladies were suggested as his source of inspiration. These included Queen Hortense, the daughter of Josephine de Beauharnais and Napoleon and Hortense de Nassau, the daughter of the Prince of Nassau.
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