The oak-leaf hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia Bartr. was designated and named as the official state wildflower of Alabama in June of 1999. Since then, they have become so popular that garden centers sell out of them quickly.
Seeing this large spikes of white blooms in yards and along roadsides is one of the joys of spring and summer in the South. They are pretty all year, with peeling bark and red colored leaves in the fall. They will grow in full sun or shade.
The ones in my yard are doing well in almost continual shade. I've tried other plants in those areas, but nothing grew very well until we planted the oak-leaf hydrangeas. It is nice to be able to enjoy them from the house on those days we don't have time or energy for a drive in the country.