Hydrangea macrophylla is the most widely planted of the 80 species of genus Hydrangea. It originates in Japan although it is believed that plants first introduced to the west were gathered in China. The species was named by Nicolas Seringe of France, but was also known by Viburnum and a more generalized Hydrangea hortensis due to the variations between lacecap and mophead flower types. Developed by one of the world's foremost horticulturalists and breeders, Dr. Michael A. Dirr, in association with the University of Georgia Research Foundation, the Royal Majestics® hydrangeas are part of the Gardener's Confidence® Collection, and were bred and chosen for easy growth, mildew resistance and beautiful bloom. Midnight Duchess® is a seedling selection from 'Nigra' that has proven to show more resistance to mildew, drought and heat than 'Nigra'.