Exochorda is a delightful ornamental shrub that unites 5-7 species in the genus, growing in the territories of Korea, Central Asia and Russia.
When it blooms in May-June, it is covered with innumerable white flower tassels, including large (up to 5 cm in diameter) flowers, a bit reminiscent of pear flowers.
Varieties and types
Exochorda grandiflora grows in the rocky areas of the mountains of Eastern China. The shrub rises to 3 meters in height, its sprawling and densely branching crown is formed by grayish-brown branches.
Foliage – obovate or oval, bluish-white below and pointed, and above – with denticles. The color of the flowers with wavy petals is white, the tassels of inflorescences are formed from 5-10 flowers. The species blooms for approximately 20 days, is resistant to frost, drought and ornamental throughout the growing season.
Exochorda racemosa – grows in Western China on the mountain slopes. Shrubs with a height of 3 to 5 meters in height also have spreading crowns and bloom in snow-white color of tassels. Flowering of this species begins in May, it is not winter-hardy, unlike the previous one.
Exochord Alberta from the wooded mountains of Central Asia stretches to 4 meters in height, strongly branches, covered with bright green oval foliage. The length of each leaf is up to 7 cm, white flowers are collected on the tops of the shoots in inflorescences 8 cm long. It is winter-hardy and especially beautiful during the period of mass flowering, providing excellent material for cutting.
The result of crossing the 2 species described above are hybrid forms of exochords . Hybrid exochords are characterized by more intense flowering, larger flowers, but smaller growth.
- One of them is a variety of exochorda large-flowered zebride (it is also called “ exochorda bride ” or “ exochorda bride ”), 1-1.5 meters high, with a dense and sprawling bush, oval-rounded, pale green leaves and snow-white tassels of inflorescences up to 10 cm long.
- The variety of exochord large-flowered Niagara is slightly lower – from 80 to 100 cm, strongly branches, sprawling, with oval light green leaves and bright white dense overall brushes-inflorescences.
Exochorda serrata is an interesting and very decorative species, listed in the Red Book. It is lower than natural species, but higher than hybrid ones – 1.5 meters tall. The foliage is broadly lanceolate, pointed, as the name suggests, the leaves are serrate at the edges. Flowering occurs at about the same time as in other species – in the second half of May.
In the Russian Federation, this rare exochord has been grown for about 30 years in the botanical garden of St. Petersburg. It shows stability in culture, freezing in St. Petersburg only in the harsh winter season.
Exochorda planting and care in the open field
How luxuriantly the exochord will bloom depends on the correct choice of the seat. For her, it is recommended to choose a sunny area or slightly shaded.
It is better to prepare a landing pit before the landing procedure itself, while its bottom should be equipped with a drainage layer and covered with fertile soil, forming a hill. The depth of the pit should be approximately 50 cm. After installing the seedling on a hill, it is covered with the remaining earth, then the soil in the root zone is mulched to protect it from drying out.
There are no special requirements for the soil. The preferred soil is nutritious, permeable and alkaline.
Another representative of the Pink family is spirea, which is easily grown when planting and caring in the open field, but still requires compliance with some maintenance rules. You can find all the necessary recommendations for growing and caring for this plant in this article.
The exochord is very fond of moisture, and therefore the soil must be kept sufficiently moist. This will favorably affect development and will not interfere on hot days, even though the plant is quite drought-resistant.
For irrigation, settled or rainwater is best suited, with which it is recommended to irrigate the shrub in the evening.
Fertilizer for exochord
Fertilizers are applied during the active growth phase and at the end of flowering. Top dressing can be used both organic and mineral, flavoring the soil with them every one and a half months.
You do not need to do this more often, and it is important to observe the volumes of fertilizers applied, indicated in the recommendations for use.
Trimming the exochord
Preventive pruning of the exochord should be carried out without fail, in order to maintain the shape of the bush and free the plant from old, crooked branches.
It is performed immediately, as soon as flowering ends, since if the procedure is carried out at a later date, the shoots will not have time to develop, and next year you may not wait for flowering. On the contrary, if you start pruning too early, there is a great risk of depriving the shrub of branches ready for flowering, because the flowers bloom only on last year’s stems.
It is also worth noting that after cutting off the old stems by 1/3, the formation of young, healthy ones is stimulated.
The active flowering of the exochord is a bewitching dazzling white triumph of its magnificent decoration. The graceful branches bear such a huge number of small flowers that the foliage remains almost completely hidden under them.
In group compositions, the exochord goes well with the same artisanal spirea and action.
Exochorda preparation for winter
The frost resistance of certain species and varieties is so good that some of them are able to withstand temperatures down to -35-40℃. Another thing is that it is better to tie these shrubs with branches to the trunk or tilt them to the ground, because under the masses of snow that falls again and again, the branches sometimes break.
By winter, it is recommended to mulch the trunk circle with peat or humus and cover the bushes themselves with spruce branches. With the advent of spring, any cold damage on the branches begins to recover quickly, which ends with abundant flowering.
Exochorda growing from seeds
Seed is quite laborious and time consuming. The flowering of a bush planted in this way will illuminate the garden no earlier than 7-10 years from the moment the seeds were sown.
In autumn, mature seeds should be planted in vessels, sprinkled with sawdust on top of the substrate and left in a cool place until spring. In the spring, a transplant is carried out in open ground.
Reproduction of exochords by layering
Layers are propagated when the first warm spring days come. It is necessary to bend the lower stems into the dug holes containing the prepared soil and secure well.
Literally a few weeks the stem needs to grow normally, after which it is carefully spudded with earth in half. In autumn, rooted layering can be separated.
Propagation of exochords by cuttings
Cuttings should be done immediately after flowering. The length of the incompletely lignified cuttings separated from the bush should be about 15 cm. The lower cut is made oblique, passing it under the kidney (required!).
The cuttings are planted in vessels filled with a mixture of humus, peat and sand, then they are covered with a film. Young plants can be moved to open ground only after a year.
Diseases and pests
Diseases and pest attacks in the whole exochord are not dangerous. It becomes difficult for her only if the rules of irrigation are not observed. Specifically, in conditions of constant waterlogging of the earth, signs of deterioration appear, such as a decrease in the elasticity of foliage and a decrease in decorative qualities .
Excessive shading can also harm, as a result of which the stems of the plant are strongly drawn out , and the flower buds are poorly formed , which, in turn, threatens to reduce the size and deteriorate the quality of the flowers.
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The key to a unique individual memorable garden design is healthy, well-groomed plants, correctly grouped, successfully formed.
But, not a single landscape can do without a central link, stunning in its unusualness, beauty, perhaps in contrast with the rest of the inhabitants of the garden.
Most often, ornamental shrubs are used in this capacity, one of these is the exochord – an amazing and unusually delicate plant.
Agrotechnics of cultivation
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Exochorda is a deciduous shrub that attracts the attention of the layman with abundant flowering in early summer.
With proper care, the number of white large flowers collected in dense brushes can reach such a number that the emerald fresh green of oval-rounded leaves is practically invisible under them.
Exochorda is a fast-growing plant that prefers sunny areas protected from gusty winds, which must be taken into account when choosing a landing site. As for the soil, it should have a neutral reaction of the environment, be well-drained, permeable, loose, fertile.
For planting, it is necessary to prepare a hole with a depth of 0.45 – 0.50 m, on the bottom of which a layer of drainage material is laid, then a root ball is placed in it, which is covered with soil, compacted and spilled. Despite the fact that the exochord prefers the bright sun, the roots should be protected from overheating, for which it is necessary to mulch the near-trunk circle.
Watering is carried out in the evening, as needed. It is more expedient to fertilize with mineral fertilizers in early spring, during the period of leaf blooming and after flowering, with nutrient mixtures enriched with phosphorus and potassium available to the plant.
Exochord needs pruning, responds well to it. The first pruning is carried out after the bush fades. In this case, shoots with withered peduncles are shortened, which will allow the plant not to waste strength and energy on the formation of fruits and seeds, allowing them to be saved for a successful wintering.
The next pruning is carried out in the spring, when frozen, dead, weakened branches are removed.
The exochord hibernates well, but for the first 2-3 years after planting, it would be better to properly spud it, bend the branches to the ground and cover with spruce branches. A more mature plant that has undergone adaptation, has grown stronger and grown, it is quite possible not to cover it.
Species and varieties of Exochords
For convenience, the most popular varieties and types of exochords are collected in the table.
|Variety name Photo||The height and shape of the bush||Leaf shape and color||Flower shape and color||Peculiarities|
3 – 4 m
spreading elongated-elliptical, pale green large, snow-white, collected in a brush withstands slight acidification of soils
sprawling obovate, light green large, bright white, collected in a brush of 5-6 flowers retains decorative even after flowering, winter-hardy, drought-resistant
spreading, well-branched crown elliptical, toothed above, light green, below with a bluish bloom white, with a wavy edge good frost resistance 100 – 150 cm
dense, spreading oval-rounded, soft green snow-white, collected in a brush 8 – 10 long cm //
80 – 100 cm
strongly branched, sprawling oval, light green bright white, brush large, dense4 m
strongly branched elongated-elliptical, bright green large, white, collected in a brush up to 8 cm long very showy, graceful, sometimes used for cutting
crown width up to 2 m oblong-oval, bright green white, large, graceful
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Exochorda (Exochorda) is a perennial ornamental shrub. It belongs to the rose family. The exochord is also called the string-bearer. The genus includes only seven species that naturally grow in Asia.
The shrub has been cultivated for about 100 years. However, so far the exochord has not been widely used. To meet a culture in a garden plot is a rarity. But the botanical gardens are full of snow-white numerous exochord flowers. The culture is distinguished by its incredible beauty during the flowering period. Some compare it with bird cherry, others – with mock orange. The people call the plant “pearl flower” because the flowers visually resemble pearls. They also compare the exochord with spirea, however, the flowers and leaves are visually slightly different. In spirea, the leaves have a lighter shade of green, the edges are more jagged than in the exochord.
In nature, the exochord can grow up to 4 meters in height, and in culture, its average height is about 2 meters. The plant has simple leaves or serrated. Cup-shaped flowers, the diameter of which does not exceed 5 cm, form inflorescences that grow on the tops of the shoots. Up to 15 snow-white flowers with five petals can be collected in inflorescences.
In mid-May, abundant flowering begins, which lasts for 3 weeks .
Few species of this culture are known:
- Alberta (E. AlBerti) is a variety native to Central Asia. Culture grows in nature on forest edges. The shrub can grow up to 4 meters. Differs in strong branching of branches. Oval green leaves are up to 7 cm long. On the tops of the shoots are inflorescences formed from several snow-white flowers. In culture, it is practically not used;
- Giralda (E. Giraldii) is a variety native to China. Grows in mountainous areas. The variety was introduced into culture at the beginning of the 20th century. Young shoots are pinkish in color. At the tops of the shoots are elongated inflorescences. They are formed from several flowers. The calyx of the flower has pinkish edges, and the petals are snow-white. The length of the petals reaches 3 cm. The species is widely distributed in culture not only for its spectacular decorative qualities, but also for its resistance to frost and drought;
- The racemosus variety (E. racemosa) is also native to China. Prefers to grow on rocky surfaces of mountains. Shrubs upright or branched. The leaves are oblong in shape, the edges are often serrated. At the tops of the shoots there are inflorescences collected from several white flowers, the diameter of which does not exceed 4 cm.
- Exochorda Korolkov (E. Korolkowii) – a species from Turkey. Grows in the mountains. The height of shrubs is up to 3.5 meters. The branches are upright. This species is characterized by unpretentiousness and resistance to any conditions of existence. The leaves are ovoid, with slightly serrated margins. The length of the leaves is up to 10 cm. The apical inflorescences are about 10 cm long. They are collected from snow-white flowers with a diameter of about 4 cm;
- The Tien Shan exochord (E. Tianschanica) grows in the Tien Shan mountains. Differs in protection in reserves. Up to 15 flowers form elongated inflorescences. Non-lignified shoots can freeze in too cold winters. It is practically not used in culture;
- Large – flowered is a hybrid variety. It was obtained as a result of crossing two other varieties: brushed and Korolkov. This is a frost-resistant species, often grown in the Moscow region. However, the strong-flowered exochord has a drawback: it grows extremely quickly, adding about a meter per year. The view is not picky about the composition of the soil, photophilous. Differs in short flowering. It lasts no more than 2 weeks;
- Large-flowered (E.Grandiflora) – a shrub about 3 meters high. In nature, it grows in the mountains of China. The shoots branch strongly, forming a sprawling dense crown. Flowers, up to 5 cm in diameter, are collected in inflorescences in the form of brushes. The length of the inflorescence is up to 15 cm. The leaves are pointed, their upper part has a bluish tint. This is a very effective decorative look. The duration of flowering is a little less than a month. The variety is resistant to frost, drought and city conditions;
- Serratiflora (E. Serratiflora) – a species from Manchuria. The height of the shrub does not exceed 2 meters. The crown is dense and rounded. The leaves are long (up to 7.5 cm) and wide (up to 5 cm). Snow-white flowers up to 5 cm in diameter are collected in loose racemose inflorescences. In one inflorescence there can be up to 12 flowers. Flowering begins in May. It is a frost-resistant species and a photophilous species. Used in culture since the beginning of the 20th century.
Two varieties of this snow-white beauty were bred.
Niagara is a cultivar of the cystic exochord. Plant height does not exceed 1 meter. Flowering occurs in May. This frost-resistant variety can withstand temperatures as low as -28 degrees. The shrub is compact and dense. Flowering is very abundant. Racemose inflorescences are formed from a dozen snow-white flowers. Niagara is characterized by slow growth. This is a very popular variety in Russia for its hardiness, unpretentiousness and amazing decorative qualities.
The Bride is one of the most popular varieties. The name of the variety is translated into Russian as “Bride”. The shrub grows up to 2 meters in height. The diameter of the compact and dense crown is up to 2 meters. Shoots drooping. Blooms intensively from May to June. Large besloneznye flowers form racemose inflorescences. The large-flowered exochorda bride is characterized by good resistance to frost, so the variety is often grown in central Russia. The variety loves light and fertile soil, although it can grow on any soil. Handles pruning well. Bride is used for single and group plantings, decorating garden alleys.
Planting an exochord is a simple process. All that is required is to choose the right place in the open field where the culture will grow.
The stringer is not demanding on the composition of the soil, but it will be better to develop on fertile soil. It is desirable to choose a soil with good water permeability. It must be alkaline or neutral. If the soil is too acidic, it is recommended to add lime. Acidic soil is only suitable for cystic exochords.
It is not bad to plant a crop on a hill, since the soil there is characterized by water and air permeability. Not in vain in nature, plants usually grow in mountainous areas.
For planting, it is recommended to choose a well-lit area, but a small penumbra is also quite suitable. It is also recommended to choose areas protected from gusty winds.
At the bottom of the planting pit, it is required to form a small hill of nutrient soil. After the exochord is planted, the root area needs to be mulched in order to prevent direct sunlight from entering. The depth of the hole should be about 50 cm. It is also recommended to make a high-quality drainage layer.
Care is not difficult even for novice gardeners. However, in order for the plant to be healthy and flowering, some rules will need to be followed.
Despite the fact that the culture is drought-resistant, it needs watering. Watering is carried out as the grant dries, this is especially true in hot dry weather. It is better to water in the evening.
It is recommended to feed the culture in early spring, when the leaves begin to bloom, as well as after flowering. As top dressing, nutrient mixtures with a high content of phosphorus and potassium are used.
The plant responds well to pruning. It is recommended to cut twice. The first time – after the flowers fade. The second time – in the spring after wintering. In the first case, it is necessary to remove shoots with wilted inflorescences. This is necessary so that the culture does not waste energy on the formation of fruits. In the second case, old and frozen shoots after winter are removed.
Usually, before buying exochord seedlings, gardeners ask themselves the question: “How does the plant winter? Will it survive the Russian winter?
Adult specimens tolerate temperatures down to -29 degrees well . But in winters that are too frosty and with little snow, shoots above the snow cover can freeze slightly. With the advent of warm weather, the shrub will most likely recover.
In the middle lane, including in the Moscow region, this crop is often grown. And the growing process is going very well. It is possible that flowering will not be as plentiful as in the southern regions, but the shrub will still be decorative and beautiful.
In the northern regions of Russia, the shrub will most likely not survive the winter.
Where can I buy?
You can buy shrub seedlings in nurseries, gardening stores, as well as order by mail or via the Internet.
|Variety||Where can I buy||Price|
|Bride (The Bride)||Garden center “Martin Garden” (Pushkino)||600 rubles (10-15 cm)|
|Niagara||Garden center “Martin Garden” (Pushkino)||600 rubles (10-15 cm)|
|Bride (The Bride)||Online store “All sorts”||940 rubles (40-60 cm)|
Application in landscape design
Exochorda is a shrub with spectacular decorative qualities. It is especially beautiful in late spring and early summer, when the whole bush is shrouded in snow-white inflorescences. It can be used as a solitary shrub near a building or against a lawn. It can also be grown in group plantings.
Also, the culture is ideal for creating hedges. Bride is often used as a stem tree. And Niagara, due to its low growth, is often used for border decoration, and is also suitable for planting in containers.
Exochord partners can be:
Also, the culture goes well with flowers that bloom in spring:
What does an exochord look like in bloom?
In the video below, you can admire the alley strewn with flowers from the exochord.