Hydrangea paniculata 'Le Vasterival' FIRST EDITIONS GREAT STAR
Common Name: panicle hydrangea 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Hydrangeaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 6.00 to 7.00 feet
Spread: 7.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to September
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Air Pollution


Best grown in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Can be trained as a small single trunk tree, but is best grown as a large, multi-stemmed shrub. May display best shrub form if regularly pruned to a height of 6-10’ tall. This is one of the most winter hardy of the hydrangeas. It thrives in urban conditions. Bloom occurs on current season’s growth, so prune as needed in late winter to early spring.

Larger flower panicles can be obtained by thinning the plants to 5-10 primary shoots. In full bloom, the weight of the flower panicles will typically cause the branches to arch downward.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hydrangea paniculata, commonly called panicle hydrangea, is a vigorous, upright, rapid-growing, somewhat coarsely textured, deciduous shrub that is native to China and Japan. It typically grows to 8-15’ (less frequently to 25’) tall, and features oval to ovate dark green leaves and upright, sharply-pointed, conical, terminal flower panicles (to 6-8” long) containing both fertile and sterile flowers (mostly non-showy fertile flowers) that bloom from mid-summer into fall.

The genus name Hydrangea comes from hydor meaning "water" and aggeion meaning "vessel", in reference to the cup-like capsular fruit.

The specific epithet paniculata refers to the arrangement of the flowers in panicles.

‘Le Vasterival’, commonly sold under the trade name of FIRST EDITIONS GREAT STAR, is an upright rounded shrub that typically matures to 6-7’ tall and to 7-8’ wide. Unusually large (to 4” wide), star-shaped, white sterile florets (to 4” wide) with elliptic wavy sepals bloom in upright-rounded panicles (to 7-8” tall) from mid-summer to fall on plants clad with bright green, slightly rugose foliage. On average, each panicle has 17 showy sterile florets which block much of the view of the approximately 200 underlying non-showy fertile florets. FIRST EDITIONS GREAT STAR was first discovered in the summer of 2003 growing at the Le Vasterival garden of internationally renowned gardener Princess Greta Sturdza in Varengeville Sur Mer, Normandy, France. It appeared as a naturally occurring branch mutation of an unnamed seedling of Hydranga paniculata ‘Floribunda’. GREAT STAR is a registered trademark which currently is used to identify plant selections which have come from Le Vasterival. U.S. Plant Patent PP20,272 was issued on September 8, 2009.


Some susceptibility to bud blight, bacterial wilt, leaf spot, rust and mildew. Aphids and mites are occasional visitors.


Mass or group in a mixed shrub border or open woodland garden. Also effective as a lawn specimen, accent or hedge. Provides late summer bloom when few other shrubs are in flower.