"Amacha" group (sweet tea)
This group of plants belongs to a wider group of hydrangea, called Yama, originating in the mountainous areas of Japan (Yama trad. Mountain) and all classifiable in the serrata species.
The fundamental element that distinguishes the Amacha from the Yama is the "flavor" of the leaf.
In fact, the Amacha, if chewed, show a strong sweet taste. Excluding DNA tests, this seems to be the only way to consider the Amacha from the Yamas separately. The scientific reason why plants of the same group they belong to develop such a different characteristic is still unknown today.
The infusion obtained from Amacha leaves has had, and still has, many uses, both in herbal medicine and as a substitute for sugar, and for religious celebrations. The best known regards the ritual of "Kambutsu-e", a ceremony that recalls the birth of Buddha.
The sweet tea of orthnesia, which many fans of plants and herbal medicine have certainly already had the pleasure of trying, is an extract that is obtained from the leaves of these varieties.
There are a dozen varieties of amacha hydrangeas, but the most common and cultivated ones are the ones we will talk about shortly, namely Yae-No-Amacha, Amagi-Amacha and finally Oamacha.
The first variety we want to talk to you about is Yae-No-Amacha. Briefly the salient features of this species of hydrangea amacha:
Height: 100 centimeters
Leaf: oval, bright green color with acute apex, serrated edge
Flowering: June July
Inflorescence: lacecap or spherical.
Rather rare bush, with a double flower of a delicate pinkish white color conditioned by the PH of the soil. The inflorescence is generally of the lacecap type but, sometimes, it can
also be spherical. This plant, discovered quite recently (around 1960) by Shigeru Tada, represents one of the most graceful cultivars of the Amacha group.