acid/base indicator plants

David W. Kramer kramer.8 at OSU.EDU
Tue Nov 10 19:22:57 EST 1998

>Can someone please refresh my memory about this? I have two questions?
>1) Is it hydrangeas that produce red or blue flowers according to soil

 Yes, it's Hydrangea macrophylla, the "Common Bigleaf Hydrangea."  See

>2) What are the acid and base colors? My intuition is red flowers in
>acid soil, and blue in neutralor alkaline, based on other inidicator
>dyes, such as the ones (presuambly anthocyanins) in blueberries, red
>cabbage, etc.

According to the Virtual Garden (URL above), "flower color varies according
to the soil: alkaline soil produces pinkish blossoms, acid soil produces
bluish ones (white-flowered varieties are not affected by soil acidity)."

>Many thanks,
>Jon Greenberg
>Jon Greenberg, Ph.D.            Curriculum Development
>Science Education Consultant    Program Evaluation
>812-330-8669			Preservice & Inservice Teacher Education
>mailto:jongreen at

David W. Kramer, Ph.D.
Asst. Prof. of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology
Ohio State University at Mansfield
1680 University Drive
Mansfield, OH  44906-1547
Phone:  (419) 755-4344      FAX:  (419) 755-4367
e-mail:  kramer.8 at

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