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Exochorda racemosa

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Exochorda giraldii
Phonetic Spelling
ek-so-kor'duh ray-sem-OH-zuh
Description

Exochorda racemosa is a loose, upright, spring-flowering deciduous shrub, as broad as it is high, with a tolerance for heat and drought. The plant typically reaches a height of 10 feet, but can go as high as 15 feet. It is a dependable, tough plant that leafs out early. It grows well in sun to partial shade and prefers well-drained, acidic soil, although it does well in more average soil. It has slender branches and tends to have a loose, or unkempt, appearance with age. The flowers in spring are white and pearl-like, hence the common name Pearlbush.

It can become overarching and floppy, but it can be severely pruned to rejuvenate. However, because it blooms on the previous year's growth, you should wait until the current blooms are spent before pruning and use that as a guide to how much to remove. It is reported to be invasive in some states, but is not currently listed as such for North Carolina. The plant is most suitable for borders, hedges or foundation plantings. Once established, it has a reputation for being tough and adaptable.

Quick ID Hints:

  • White, 5-petaled flowers on pins; buds pearl-like
  • Leaves are mucronate and entire below midsection
  • Fruit is persistent green-brown, top-shaped, dehiscent capsule
  • Some leaves 'batman-like' with tooth on either side of apex

Deciduous shrub to 10', loose and fountain-like. Blooms in spring for 1-2 weeks; showy, expanding buds reminiscent of pearls and add to floral show; buds, flowers generally larger than those of Deutzia and leaves of E. racemosa are mucronate and entire below midsection whereas those of Deutzia are pointed and serrate; dwarf forms are available; used as shrub border, but dwarf forms may be used as bedding plants. Tolerates alkaline soil and partial shade; prefers acidic, organically rich loams, well-drained soil; hard to transplant (taproot); requires pruning to maintain shape; relatively pest/disease free.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No serious insect or disease problems have been reported.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Exochorda x macrantha
Tags:
#white#showy flowers#deciduous#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#white flowers#showy#low maintenance#hedges#flowering shrub#foundation planting#borders#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Exochorda x macrantha
Tags:
#white#showy flowers#deciduous#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#white flowers#showy#low maintenance#hedges#flowering shrub#foundation planting#borders#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Exochorda
    Species:
    racemosa
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central Asia and Southeastern China
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Broad
    Erect
    Rounded
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Persists on plant. A dehiscent, 5-valved capsule, green turning to brown, less than 1/4" wide.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    White showy flowers in April. It flowers on previous season's growth so consider this when pruning. Flowers give way to brown dehiscent seed capsules. Racemous, on pins at ends of branches from previous year's growth, 3-4.5" long. (6-10) white, unscented, 5-petaled, ca 1.5".
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Cuneate
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Medium green leaves, 1 to 3 inches long and half as wide, with no significant fall color. Alternate, simple, elliptic-oblong to obovate, mucronate, cuneate, serrate toward apex or entire, sometimes with two teeth evenly spaced (like ears) from apex, medium green above and whitish beneath, glabrous. Leafs out in the spring.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Orange
    Surface/Attachment:
    Scaly
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Round, slender, brown, covered in lenticels and longitudinal fissures.
  • Landscape:
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought