Whether you know them as the Azores, Portugal, or Açores, these nine islands have been the home of sentimental, loving people for centuries. If you could peek into the heart of an Açorean, you'd see love and passion for so many things. I've noted the main ones here, and by no means are they in order of importance. The heart of the Açorean contains love for family, friends, spiritual practices, their birth island, food, fun, and the hortênsia (hydrangea). Yes, that list ended with a flower. Please read on to learn more about the magical islands' spectacular flower.
In planning your Azores trip, any time of year is great, but summer is best. Every summer, the Açores become awash in pillowy, colorful hydrangeas- this is the height of the hydrangea season. The bushes, which bloom in shades of blue, pink, purple, and white, have become the national flower and an unofficial symbol of the islands. Historians say that Portuguese explorers and missionaries introduced these beautiful flowers to the islands centuries ago. It is also noted that these gorgeous flowers were so invasive and growing so wild that they devastated a great deal of the region's endemic flora. Regardless of their origin or spirited growth, it is undeniable that they're beloved to Açoreans. For residents of the Azores, they're a source of pride and delight; they are passionately protected. And for Açoreans who immigrated to other parts of the world, love for the hydrangea is carried in their hearts wherever they go
While all the Azores islands are populated with hydrangea plants, there's one island nicknamed for the abundance of these lush flowers-Faial otherwise known as the Isla Azul (blue island). It's aptly nicknamed that because of the countless blue hydrangea hedges found everywhere on this island. Interestingly, all the islands are volcanic, but Faial's unique soil conditions make it the best destination for the most brilliant blue hydrangeas. For those who don't visit Faial as part of their trip to Azores islands, there is still the opportunity to see stunning hydrangeas in all colors on any of the Açores islands. These flowers are not only beautiful to look at, but the hydrangea is interesting.
- Hydrangea plants can grow over 30 feet high in the wild and form giant thickets. Such is the case all over the Açores.
- There are more than 75 species of hydrangeas. The Azorean variety is known as the macrophylla.
- Hydrangeas are found worldwide, and while they’re beautiful to look at, hydrangeas are toxic if eaten.
- Historians say that the hydrangea originated in Japan.
- Hydrangeas are water lovers and can be planted in areas where it gets hot so long as they’re generously hydrated.
- The color of the hydrangea’s bloom isn’t determined by its seed but rather by the soil’s acid and mineral content.
- Hydrangeas produce their central flower cluster from the shoot’s tips formed from the plant’s previous season.
- The Avantgarde is a unique, long flowering hydrangea known to produce the world’s most enormous blooms. This variety of hydrangea flower exceeds 12 inches in diameter!
At Rooster Camisa, we appreciate how important it is to pay tribute to this beautiful flower by representing it at its best. Our hydrangea-themed products feature artwork created exclusively for Rooster Camisa. Here are the most popular products from our current lovely hydrangea line.
- Hydrangea Mug: Start your day off right with our 15-ounce ceramic mug featuring our beautiful hydrangea artwork as it's seen during hydrangea season. This large mug is dishwasher and microwave safe so feel free to use it to brighten all your days.
Hydrangea Stainless Steel Water Bottle: Our water bottle makes taking your drinks on the go as beautiful as it is easy. These vacuum flask bottles are made of high-grade, double-walled stainless steel and designed to keep your beverage hot or cold for up to 6 hours. Holding 17 ounces of liquid, their dimensions (10.5" x 2.85 ") are the perfect size for your car's cup holder. The cap is designed to stay odorless and leak-proof to ensure your drinks are fresh with every sip.
Hydrangea Tote Bags: Rooster Camisa’s tote bags are the perfect answer to one of today’s hottest trends. Featuring our exclusive artwork, our large capacity, stylish totes are not only beautiful but they’re also made to be durable and waterproof. Our totes are made of diving cloth and fully lined. Each has a strap so it can be carried on the shoulder or handheld. And best of all, our hydrangea tote bags come in three looks-hydrangea watercolor Azul, hydrangea sketch Liliás and hydrangea sketch Azul.
- Hydrangeas Adult Tee: Whether you’re an adored mãe (mom) or beloved avó (grandmother), the tees dedicated to these two special people feature our exclusive hydrangea artwork. Our comfortable, soft, and lightweight tees are made of 100% combed and ring-spun cotton in several sizes and colors, all featuring our exclusive hydrangea artwork. Please note that Heather contains polyester.
Perhaps it's their natural beauty that makes this flower an Açorean icon. Or maybe it's because hydrangeas share characteristics with the Azorean way of life. This group of islands has faced centuries of natural and human-made hardships. Yet despite that, the Açores, like hydrangeas, have remained beautiful, solidly rooted in their history, and bravely facing whatever comes next from one season to the next. For the Açorean people, that's just life as they know it, making the hydrangea the perfect Azorean icon.
From your friends at Rooster Camisa, haja saude (may you enjoy great health)!
Written by: Margaret Resendes Peek-Rooster Camisa