Exochorda × macrantha 'The Bride'
Common Name: pearlbush
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 4.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Best flowering in full sun. Prefers moist acidic organically rich loams. Established plants have good heat and drought tolerance. Flowers bloom on old growth, so prune as needed immediately after flowering. Best sited in sheltered locations to protect plants from possible damage from late spring frosts.

Propagate 'The Bride' by cuttings.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Exochorda x macrantha, commonly known as pearlbush, is a hybrid deciduous shrub introduced by Victor Lemoine of Nancy, France around 1900. It is a cross in which the flowers of Exochorda korolkowii (Turkestan shrub to 12' tall) were fertilized with pollen from the flowers of Exochorda racemosa (Chinese shrub to 15' tall). This hybrid forms a bushy shrub to 8-12' tall which features pearl-like flower buds (hence the common name) in early spring followed by masses of 5-petaled 1 1/4" white flowers on arching branches clad with pale green leaves. Flowers give way to star-shaped fruits. Although this original hybrid is not commonly sold in commerce today, a more compact cultivar 'The Bride' has become a very popular landscape plant.

Genus name comes from the Greek words exo meaning outside and chorde meaning a cord referring to fibers outside the placenta in the ovary.

Hybrid name means with large flowers.

'The Bride' matures to only 3-4' tall and as wide. It is a dense, compact, more shapely cultivar than the original hybrid. It is primarily noted for its outstanding display of pearl-like flower buds in early spring followed by a particularly abundant spring bloom (April-May) of masses of 5 petaled 1 1/2" diameter bridal-white flowers (hence the cultivar name). Flowers appear in 6-10 flowered terminal racemes (to 3-4" long) located at the ends of side shoots along branches which typically arch to the ground. Oblong to ovate, pale green leaves (to 2" long) turn yellow in fall. RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

An excellent spring-flowering compact shrub for smaller gardens. Shrub borders. Hedge. Woodland gardens. Effective as a specimen or massed.