From China. Loose, spikelike clusters of 1- to 2-in.-wide white owers open from a profusion of buds resembling pearls. Flowering spans several weeks in early spring, at about the same time the roundish, 1- to 2-in.-long leaves expand.
These shrubs are showy during spring but undistinguished at other times of year, so choose your site accordingly. Prefer well-drained, acid soil but will grow in neutral or alkaline soil; will take considerable neglect. Pest free. Not browsed by deer. Flowers are formed on previous year's growth, so prune after bloom.
E. giraldii. Resembles the widely grown species E. racemosa but is somewhat smaller, with slightly smaller owers and red tints in leaf veins and ower stalks.
E. x macrantha. Hybrid between E. racemosa and another species. The only selection available, 'The Bride', is a compact shrub to about 4 ft. tall and wide. Very showy bloom. 'Blizard' and 'Niagara' (Snow Day Surprise) have larger flowers.
E. racemosa. COMMON PEARL BUSH. Loose, open, slender; grows to 1015 ft. tall and wide, possibly larger. In small gardens, remove lower branches to make small, upright, airy, multistemmed tree. Often found in older gardens in the Middle and Lower South. Reseeds readily, and seedlings are often shared.