Exochorda racemosa
Common Name: pearlbush 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Central Asia, southeastern China
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Spread: 10.00 to 15.00 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. Prefers acidic, organically rich loams. Established plants have good heat and drought tolerance. Flowers bloom on old growth, so prune as needed immediately after flowering.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Exochorda racemosa, commonly called pearlbush, is native to China. It is a loose, upright, early-blooming, deciduous shrub with a broad rounded shape. It typically matures to 10-15’ tall and as wide. The flower buds resemble white pearls, hence the common name. Flowers bloom in spring (late April in St. Louis) in 6-10 flowered racemes, each flower (to 1.5” diameter) being 5-petaled, cup-shaped and white. Flowers give way to brown dehiscent seed capsules. Narrow, elliptic to oblong, medium green leaves (to 3” long). No fall color. Although floriferous and attractive in early spring, it basically plods though the rest of the growing season as a somewhat nondescript shrub.

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

Specific epithet means with flowers in racemes.


No serious insect or disease problems. Listed as an invasive species in some states.


Shrub borders. Foundations. Informal hedge.