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1 Woody vine, climbing by adventitious roots; petals 7-10; [section Decumaria of clade Hydrangea I; or genus Decumaria]
..2 Leaves pinnately lobed, the lobes toothed; inflorescence a panicle; large sterile flowers many (> 20 per inflorescence), borne throughout the inflorescence; [section undetermined (“incertae sedis”) of clade Hydrangea I; or genus Hydrangea s.s.]
....3 Inflorescence a panicle; large sterile flowers many (> 20 per inflorescence), borne throughout the inflorescence; [large shrub to small tree, to 8 m tall and 10 cm trunk diameter]; [alien, cultivated and sometimes persistent]; [section Heteromallae of clade Hydrangea I; or genus Heteromalla]
......4 Lower leaf surface glabrous or inconspicuously puberulent, appearing green; trichomes of the lower leaf surface restricted to the midrib and major veins; sterile flowers absent, or, if present, usually < 1 cm in diameter
........5 Lower leaf surface velutinous, pilose, or tomentose, appearing gray; trichomes usually not dense enough to entirely mask the green leaf surface; trichomes with prominent tubercles (as seen at 40× magnification); sterile flowers generally very few (0-3 per inflorescence)
........5 Lower leaf surface densely floccose-velutinous, felt-like, appearing bright white or silver; trichomes dense enough to entirely mask the green leaf surface; trichomes without tubercles, or with small and inconspicuous tubercles (as seen at 40× magnification); sterile flowers generally fairly many (2-15 per inflorescence)