As with most roses, iris, and lilacs, the floral performance of most hydrangeas is so powerful that the foliage is secondary. This is usually just as well. The exceptions—blue-leaved rose, variegated-leaved iris, and cut-leaf lilac—are as striking as they are welcome.
Oakleaf hydrangea is perhaps the most dramatic—the most foliage-fabulous—of them all. Indeed, despite the spectacular flowers, oak-leaf hydrangea can be grown, proudly and gorgeously, so that it never flowers.