The botanical name ´Hydrangea´ is derived from a Greek description of the shape of the seed heads, which were thought to resemble Greek water vessels. ´Hydor´ translates as ´water´, and ´angeon´ means ´vase´ or ´vessel´ but bears no resembles to a Greek vase ´Hydria´ (Water Vessel), nor do hydrangea require any more water than any other deciduous shrub; it doesn´t take its name from the mythical monster Hydra, which had a Snake-like head which the capsule does resemble.
It is up to you to decide whether to say ´hydr-aingea´ or ´hydr-angea´
M. Haworth-Booth wrote,
On the shores of Japan and between the wooded hills, among the beautiful Red and Black pines leaning picturesquely away from the wind, among the fretted lava rocks or the myriad tiny islets often planted by nature with blood-red Azalea, smoke-blue Wisteria and the wild white rose, like a scene from a fairy story, is where the ancestral Hydrangeas can be found.
The mop-head and lace-cap hydrangeas descend from plants native to a small area on the east coast of Japan, where native species with normal lace-cap flowers had been grown in gardens for hundreds of years.
It was only in the early part of this century when their garden value was established that nurseries in France, Germany and England strove to raise new varieties with improved colours.
Sir Joseph Banks introduced the first hydrangea from a Chinese garden in 1798. This was initially called H. hortensis and later renamed ´Sir Joseph Banks´. From this we get the old name Hortensia. A similar plant landed in France and has bloomed every year since then.