Exochorda x macrantha 'The Bride'
Pearl Bush
 
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Family: Rose Family (Rosaceae)
Native Habitat: Hybrid of garden origin

Exochorda x macrantha 'The Bride', is a spring flowering shrub with arching branches of pure white flowers. This is not a new variety; it is a hybrid between E. racemosa and E. korolkowii raised in Holland's famed Grootendorst Nursery around 1938. That it is still considered such an excellent selection is testament that it has indeed withstood the test of time.

The common name of Pearl Bush for the genus Exochorda refers to the flower buds. They resemble large pearls of pure white and offer a preview of the show yet to come. A 3 to 4" long raceme of flowers of the purest white soon follows and they are produced on every bud of the previous season's growth. The flower color is easily the brightest, purest, almost blindingly white of any shrub we know. Because it is so ornamental in both bud and flower, its floral effectiveness is extended to nearly three weeks and occurs in early spring. 'The Bride' grows to only 3 or 4 ft. tall with a graceful, spreading, weeping form.

Because it blooms on last year's growth you must be careful when you prune. If you prune before flowering in the spring, all of that spring's flowers will be lost. If you wait too long after it blooms to prune, you will be pruning off the buds that have formed for next year's flowers. Pruning should be done immediately after flowering.

Ornamental Characteristics: Deciduous shrub with white pearl-like buds opening to 1½" flowers of the purest white in early spring.
Habit & Growth Rate: Slow to medium growth rate. Graceful, spreading and weeping form to about 4 ft. tall and 6 or 7 ft. wide.
Landscape Uses: Shrub border. Specimen plant.
Hardiness: Zone 4 to 8
Culture: Easy. Full sun to light shade. Average garden soils.