Denomination: 'Limelight'
Botanical Name: Hydrangea
Applicant/Holder: Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc.
12601 120th Avenue
Grand Haven, Michigan
United States of America
Breeder: Pieter Zwijnenburg, Jr., Boskoop, Netherlands
Agent in Canada: BioFlora Inc.
38723 Fingal Line
R.R. #1
St. Thomas, Ontario
N5P 3S5
Tel: 519-631-6241
Application Date: 2000-12-08
Application Number: 00-2452
Grant of Rights Date: 2005-12-07
Certificate Number: 2319
Grant of Rights Termination Date: 2023-12-07

Variety Description

Variety used for comparison: 'Grandiflora'

Summary: 'Limelight' is taller in plant height and has better branching than 'Grandiflora'. The leaf of 'Limelight' is larger than 'Grandiflora'. 'Limelight' has a denser inflorescence than 'Grandiflora'. The calyx colour of 'Limelight' is light yellow while in 'Grandiflora' it is white, fading to pink with age. The large calyx of 'Limelight' has a white center compared to 'Grandiflora' which is pink in the center. The degree of overlap of the sepals of the large calyx in 'Limelight' is weaker than in 'Grandiflora'.


'Limelight' is an hydrangea variety with an upright growth habit and strong dense branching. The medium green coloured leaf has no variegation, glossiness or lobing, is ovate in shape with an acuminate apex and rounded shaped base. The leaf blade margin is serrate with medium depth incisions.

The inflorescence of 'Limelight' is very dense, and conical in shape with a few flowers present that have a small calyx. The large calyx has 4 sepals that overlap very weakly and are light yellow (RHS 4D) in colour when fully opened. The center of the large calyx is white. The sepal margins are absent of any incisions. 'Limelight' flowers late in the season.

Origin & Breeding History: 'Limelight' is the product of a planned breeding program conducted by the breeder in Boskoop, The Netherlands. It originated from random crosses between the varieties 'Kyushu', 'Greenspire', 'Grandiflora' and 'Floribunda'. It was selected from within a population of about 200 progeny from these random crosses in a controlled environment in Boskoop, The Netherlands in 1986. Selection was based on its unique and attractive sepal colour and upright inflorescence attitude.

Tests & Trials: Test and Trials were conducted outdoors during the summer of 2004 in St. Thomas, Ontario. The trial included 12 shrubs of each of the candidate and reference varieties, grown in one gallon plastic containers in May 2004 and then transplanted into 3 gallon containers in July 2004. Trials were arranged in rows with spacing of 1 meter between containers.

Comparison tables for 'Limelight' with reference variety 'Grandiflora'

Plant height (cm)

  'Limelight' 'Grandiflora'
mean 64.9 57.3
std. deviation 4.48 6.59

Leaf length (cm)

  'Limelight' 'Grandiflora'
mean 8.1 7.1
std. deviation 0.67 0.52

Leaf width (cm)

  'Limelight' 'Grandiflora'
mean 4.3 3.7
std. deviation 0.50 0.31

Colour of large calyx (RHS)

  'Limelight' 'Grandiflora'
upper side paler than 4D 155A with edges turning 55C with age
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