Exochorda racemosa, pearlbush or common pearlbush, is a species of plant in the rose family. This species is mostly found in China and Japan.
Taxonomy and etymology
Exochorda racemosa was first described by John Lindley. It is placed in the genus Exochorda and family Rosaceae, the rose family. The plant gets its common name, "common pearlbush", from its pearl-looking flowers.
A loose, irregular or vase-shaped and upright shrub, this species is deciduous. It has oblong leaves, about 4–6 cm (1.6–2.4 in) long and 1–2 cm (0.39–0.79 in) wide, that are rounded and toothed at the margin on the top. The flowers are white, and flower in late April to early May. The flowers have round petals, 12-25 stamens, borne in racemes in groups of about six or ten. Their diameter is 4 cm (1.6 in).
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.
Native to China, common pearlbush 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.
No serious insect or disease problems. Listed as an invasive species in some states.
Shrub borders. Foundations. Informal hedge.