Hydrangea aspera 'Burgundy Bliss'
Common Name: rough-leaved hydrangea 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Hydrangeaceae
Zone: 7 to 9
Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Bloom Time: July to August
Bloom Description: Pink to mauve fertile flowers, pale pink sterile flowers
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Clay Soil


Best grown in evenly moist, rich, humusy, slightly acidic, well-draining soils in part shade. Exposure to hot, afternoon sun should be avoided. Tolerant of dappled shade. Will tolerate a range of soil types, including sandy and clay soils, but consistent moisture and well-draining conditions are required. The pH of the soil will not affect the color of the blooms. Flowering occurs on old wood. Little pruning is needed. If required, prune after flowering by cutting back flowering stems to a pair of healthy buds. Prune out weak or winter-damaged stems in early spring. Hardy in Zones 7-9.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hydrangea aspera, commonly called rough-leaved hydrangea, is a medium to large, deciduous shrub native to northeastern India, Nepal, and southern China where it grows in forested mountain valleys and hillsides. Mature plants can reach up to 13' tall with an equal spread and take on a rounded to upright habit. The foliage is lanceolate to ovate in shape, reaching up to 10" long and 3" wide and covered in a layer of soft hairs. Round, flat-topped, lace-cap type inflorescences made up of small, blue-purple, fertile flowers emerge at the terminal ends of the branches in late summer. The inflorescences can reach up to 10" in diameter and are ringed by 1" diameter sterile flowers with four or five white to pale pink sepals.

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

The specific epithet aspera means "rough", in reference to the texture of the foliage of this species.

The common name rough-leaved hydrangea refers to the texture of the foliage of this species.

'Burgundy Bliss' is a purple-leaved cultivar that features deep, red-purple new foliage in spring that matures to dark green on the upper surfaces while remaining red-purple below. The lace-cap type inflorescences are made up of pink to mauve fertile flowers ringed by showy, pink sterile flowers. Mature plants will reach 6-8' tall with an equal spread.


Some susceptibility to bud blight, bacterial wilt, leaf spot and mildew. Aphids and hydrangea scale are occasional visitors. Winter hardiness in the St. Louis area can be a significant problem.


Group or mass in a sheltered location in the mixed shrub border or the edge of a woodland garden. Also a good specimen or accent for protected locations near homes or patios.