I could walk around these beauties all day long. Chiang Mai Thailand #SMSnotes

About 75 different flowering shrubs share the botanical name Hydrangea. This group is named from the Greek words for water, hydros, and jar or jug, angos. Despite the name, the cone or ball-shaped bursts of blossoms do not hold water but rather require a lot of moisture as they are developing. The flower was first discovered and cultivated in Japan, but it spread across Asia for hundreds of years before coming to Europe and North America.

In Japan, the flower has a historical tradition behind it linked to apologies and gratitude. An emperor supposedly gave Hydrangeas to a maiden he loved as an apology for neglecting her when other business took up all his attention. Contemporary florists in Japan use it to represent genuine emotions and love because the pink blossoms in particular resemble a beating heat. The Victorians were not as fond of the Hydrangea and considered it a mostly negative plant. The flowers were sent to declare someone a boaster or braggart or to chastise someone for their frigidity in turning down a claim of romantic love. It also means frigidity because of the Medieval belief that young women who grew or picked Hydrangeas would never find a husband. Modern Western florists often use flowers in wedding bouquets and apology arrangements to tie in with their graceful and abundant meanings.
Most Hydrangeas grow in a single color per plant, but the Bigleaf Hydrangea changes color from pink to blue based on soil pH. Common color-meaning associations include:
Pink – Linked to romance, heartfelt emotions, love, weddings, and marriage.
Blue – Connected to frigidity, turning down a romantic proposal, asking for forgiveness, and expressing regret. White – Known as a symbol of purity, grace, abundance, and bragging or boasting. Purple – Used to indicate a desire for a deeper understanding of someone else or to symbolize abundance and wealth.

Hydrangeas all contain some amount of cyanide in their leaves and flowers, making most of them unsafe for use as tea or medicine. They are primarily grown as landscaping and floral arrangement plants. However, the Hydrangea serrata is used to make a sweet tea that Buddhists use as a cleansing ritual wash for statues of the Buddha each year.