Burgundy Bliss hydrangea. If you are a Hydrangea ‘nut’, be careful, because you might have a wreck when you drive by this selection for the first time. "Awesome" is the best word to describe it. I had seen this plant many times in Japan in the fall when it had few leaves. But a few years back when visiting in June, one of my travelling companions Dr. Todd Lasseigne was heard screaming at the top of his lungs, "Ted, come over here and look what I found." This is a sure sign of another great treasure being discovered. So I ran over to where he was, and in the garden of Taka Kobayashi was this H. aspera with burgundy new growth. Its leaves emerge as a "dusty" burgundy and as its leaves harden off, they become green on the surface but remain burgundy on its undersides. It was early in the morning and seeing the sun passing through the leaves was a spiritual experience. So I would certainly recommend siting this plant so that either the morning or afternoon sun can be seen back-lighting it. This will really be one of the "must haves" of every Hydrangeaphile. It is not a heavy bloomer, but it has the same white lacecap flowers of the species. Give it good drainage and adequate moisture in filtered sun.