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ACTAEA matsumurae 'White Pearl'

Image of Actaea matsumurae 'White Pearl'

Mark A. Miller

Family

Ranunculaceae

Botanical Name

ACTAEA matsumurae 'White Pearl'

Plant Common Name

White Pearl Bugbane

General Description

Nodding, bottlebrush-like plumes of fragrant, creamy-white flowers top the stems of 'White Pearl' from midsummer to early fall. It is a selection of Japanese bugbane, a woodland, clumping perennial native to Japan and parts of extreme eastern Asia. It blooms later than other bugbane species and cultivars.

The glossy, light to medium-green leaves are compound - having three leaflets each - and are borne in groups of three on each leaf stalk. The individual leaflets are oval and irregularly toothed. Each stem forms a long flower spike anytime from midsummer to early fall, depending on length and intensity of a region's summer. For weeks, the thousands of tiny, white, fragrant, petal-lacking flowers with many stamens open from green buds from the bottom up on the long spikes that flops over and partially droops.

Plant this slow-to-establish perennial in partial shade and a deep, fertile, moist soil that is rich in organic matter. Do not allow the ground to become bone dry. Japanese bugbane will tolerate full sun only in cooler summer regions and if soil moisture is constant. The airy, fern-like texture of 'White Pearl' contrasts handsomely with lower-growing and round-leaved plants in the mixed shade border. Consider staking to prevent windstorms from toppling the plant, especially as it begins to bloom

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    4 - 9

  • Plant Type

    Perennial

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Shade

  • Height

    2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m

  • Width

    18"-24" / 45.7cm - 61.0cm

  • Bloom Time

    Summer, Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    Eastern Asia, Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Orange Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    No