Friday, October 7, 2011

Pearl Bush

Exochorda

A small genus of hardy, deciduous, ornamental shrubs known for bearing profuse white flowers in racemes during mid-spring. The leaves are alternarely arranged on the stems. They are part of the larger Rosaceae family.
Easy to grow, they thrive in sun ( or shade with less vigor ) on acidic, fertile, light, well drained soil.
Pearl Bushes prefer a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters on a site protected from excessive wind. They are rarely bothered by pests or disease.
They should be pruned during spring immediately after blooming - thin out older canes that have lost their vigor at ground level. They flower on old wood and pruning at other times could reduce blooming. Remove old flower clusters immmediately after blooming. The entire shrub can be cut back hard to renovate during early spring if it is old and overgrown.
They can be propagated from hardwood cuttings taken during winter, half hardened cuttings taken during summer or fall or from seed. Plant when young in their permanent site as they do not like root disturbance or transplanting.

* photos taken on Aug 1 2013 in Stratford, Ontario


Exochorda giraldii ( Wilson's Pearl Bush )
A fast growing, spreading, large shrub, reaching a maximum size of 18 x 30 feet with a trunk diameter of 5.2 inches, that is native to northwest China. It is very similar to Exochorda korokowii but is broader spreading. Some records include: 10 years - 10 x 15 feet.
The oblong leaves, up to 4 inches in length, are pinkish-green, turning to mid-green.
The pure white flowers, are borne in racemes during spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 9, it thrives at least as far north as the Ottawa Valley in Ontario.

var wilsonii
More upright in habit, with large flowers, up to 2 inches across.

Exochorda korolkowii ( Turkestan Pearl Bush )
Also called Exochorda albertii. A vigorous, erect, deciduous shrub, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 13 feet, that is native to Turkestan.
The short-stalked, oblong to obovate leaves, up to 3.5 inches in length, are bright green above, gray-green beneath.
It is among the first shrubs in leaf during spring.
The pure white flowers, up to 1.7 inches across, are borne in racemes up to 4 inches in length.
The stems are hairy and rusty-brown.
Hardy zones 3 to 7, preferring a continental climate. It is even reported to grow in the harsh climate of Saskatchewan.

* photos taken on July 26 2015 @ Niagara Parks Bot. Gardens, Niagara Falls, ON


Exochorda x macrantha
A vigorous, arching, mounding, large, deciduous shrub, reaching a maximum size of 15 x 10 feet, that is the hybrid between Exochorda korolkowii & E. racemosa.
The oblong leaves, up to 3 x 1 inches, are luxuriant mid-green, turning to golden-yellow during autumn.
The abundant, fragrant, pure-white flowers are borne on racemes during late spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 9

* photo of unknown internet source


'The Bride'
Reaching a maximum size of 10 x 10 ( rarely over 4 x 4 ) feet and is weeping in habit. Some records include: 10 years - 5 x 6.5 feet.
The foliage is gray-green.
The very abundant, broader flowers, up to 1.5 inches, are borne on clusters double the average length.

* photo of unknown internet source

* photo taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery


Exochorda 'Niagara' ( Snow Day Surprise Pearlbush )
The hybrid between Exochorda macrantha 'The Bride' and E. racemosa.
A moderate growing, compact, broadly-upright to arching, rounded shrub, reaching a maximum size of 5 x 5 ( rarely over 4 ) feet.
The obovate leaves, up to 3 inches in length, are bright green, turning to yellow during autumn.
The very abundant, large, white flowers are borne during late spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in full sun to partial shade. It is easy to grow in large containers with a moisture retenting heavier potting soil.

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014


Exochorda racemosa ( Common Pearlbush )
Also called Exochorda grandiflora. A moderate growing, dense, arching, rounded, large, deciduous shrub, reaching a maximum size of 20 x 30 ( rarely over 10 x 10 ) feet, that is native to northeast China. Some records include: 10 years - 11 x 10 feet.
The oblong leaves, up to 3 x 1.5 inches, are mid-green.
The lightly fragrant, waxy pure-white flowers, up to 1.5 inches across, are borne in large inflorescences, up to 2.5 inches in length, during mid to late spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 9, it has thrived at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Canada but blooms sparsely after some of the colder winters.

* photos taken on Sep 3 2017 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* historic archive photos


Exochorda serratifolia ( Korean Pearl Bush )
An upright, large, deciduous shrub, reaching a maximum size of 18 x 25 feet, that is native to Korea and northeastern China.
The toothed, oblong leaves, up to 4 x 2 inches, are bright green above, downy beneath.
The pure white flowers, up to 2 inches across, are borne on loose racemes during early spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 7, known to have flowered even after a winter low of -34 F in Minnesota.

'Northern Pearls'
Smaller in size, reaching a maximum size of 8 x 6 feet.
The large, white flowers are up to 2 inches across.
Hardy north to zone 3.

Exochorda 'Snowday Blizzard'
Moderate growing, reaching up to 6.5 x 6.5 feet, bearing flowers that are twice the size of 'The Bride'.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun to partial shade.

Exochorda 'Snowday Surprise'
A moderate growing, compact, medium-sized shrub, reaching up to 4 x 4 feet.
It bears large white flowers.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in full sun to partial shade.

Exochorda 'The Blizzard'
Reaches up to 6 x 7 feet and is very heavy flowering.
Hardy zones 4b to 7, tolerating as low as -30 F

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