Pearlbush is a large, spreading deciduous shrub native to China but adapts well to a variety of conditions. In spring the bush is covered with white flowers that emerge from buds that look like pearls, earning it its common name. The five petaled flowers are about 1½ inches across and are produced in clusters. The foliage is blue green and indistinct so the bush blends into the background once it finishes flowering. Pearlbush is a beautiful plant for the shrub border or informal hedge because of its outstanding flower display; it is less suitable as a specimen because of its irregular growth habit and lackluster foliage. Although pearlbush may be difficult to transplant it is tough once established. Good hybrids include ‘Esxochorda x macrantha ‘The Bride’ and E. giraldii var. wilsonii
Type: Flowering deciduous shrub
Outstanding Feature: Flowers in spring
Form: Irregular, loose, with arching branches
Growth Rate: Medium
Bloom: Abundance of white 1 1/2″ wide flowers borne in 3-5: long racemes of 6-10 flowers each in spring
Size: 8-15’ H x 8-15’ W
Light: Full sun to part shade
Soil: Fertile, organically rich moist; pH tolerant
Hardiness: Zones 5-8
Care: Prune after flowering to remove dead wood and crossed branches, and to control unruly growth habit.
Pests and Diseases: None of significance
Propagation: Seed; cuttings.