How to grow Exochorda x macrantha 'The Bride'

Commonly known as the 'Pearl Bush', Exochorda x macrantha 'The Bride' is a medium-sized, deciduous shrub noted for its exceptional blooms. However. outside of its flowering period it is (in my opinion at least) a rather dull, and uninteresting specimen. The 'macrantha' form is the result of a man-made hybrid produced by Austrian botanist Camillo Karl Schneider (1876 – 1951) in 1908. Schneider successfully crossed Exochorda korolkowii (native to Turkestan) and Exochorda racemosa (formerly E.albertii and native to China). The selected cultivar 'The Bride' entered cultivation in 1938.

How to grow Exochorda x macrantha 'The Bride'
It is a small to medium sized shrug with a dense, weeping habit. Under favorable conditions you can expect Exochorda x macrantha 'The Bride' to achieve a mounded form with a height and width of between 1.5-2.5 metres. It produces long arching branches bearing oblong, pale green leaves. Everything changes in lated spring when abundant racemes of large white blooms emerge along the new seasons wood. When in bud the blooms appear like large pearls, hence the common name. Each flower is approximately 2-3cm in width. As Schneider himself stated of his creation...

"As an isolated specimen the effect is magnificent."

It is a robust specimen tolerant of most aspects and ordinary garden soils. It will perform best in full sun in a slightly acidic, reliably moist but well-drained soil. You will need to provide some shelter against late spring frosts, as these can scorch the emerging foliage.

Prune the flowering stems to half their length after flowering has ended as this will increase the number of flowers produced in the following year. Remove any older, damaged shoots as required

Exochorda x macrantha 'The Bride' has received a number of awards from the Royal Horticultural Society. The Award of Merit in 1973, the Award of Garden Merit in 1984, and the First Class Certificate in 1985.

Main image credit -  Nadia Talent, Public Domain