Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"White is not a color"

is what one of my former wives used to say to me....okay. I confess. I only have one former wife, but I can pretend, can't I? And she did used to say it (to my annoyance: I happen to like white flowers). Alas, John Q. Public and his equally opinionated spouses (former and present) tend to agree with Gwen and selling a snow white shrub that blooms not long after the snows have receded in Colorado is an uphill climb. Or just plain futile. And of course it blooms just as the crabapples and redbuds are doing their amazing rose and magenta fireworks. And yet every year I come and worship at the spectacle of Exochorda wilsonii, one of the most reliable, spectacular and really just plain wonderful flowers of spring. I googled and found two or three nurseries that supposedly sell it. My friend, Jim Knopf, has E. giraldii, and you can occasionally find the much more slender and delicate hybrid 'The Bride'. But maybe THIS is the year I can persuade that Celtic magician Mike Bone to root this (or perhaps I will remember to look for seed: surely it will set lots and lots of seed for me?)...then I too can have my own private snowstorm with puffy white clouds scudding across my own azure sky.


  1. So depending on if flower color is the reflection of light or the sum/lack of color is truly the question if white is a color. Secondly for 9 years in every season I have tried to root cuttings in different seasons. it has been haphazardly as I wander by and think damn I should be cuttin' on that. Lastly we either have only a male plant or the shrub is not self fertile making seed production unlikely.

  2. Ahem...I think I know who you are, Mr. Anonymous. Glad to know you have been suffering over it as much as I have. Those are big stamens in my closeup (I can't think of many monoecious rosaceous bushes [good gracious!]...Perhaps we should take a branch down to 'The Bride'...

  3. Here in the Pacific Northwest (coast), we don't get too much snow and we definitely HAVE too much g-r-e-e-n, so I adore white in the garden/landscape. In fact, I've been adding lots of white to our garden because all that dark green of our native surroundings makes for the most beautiful backdrop :>]] "My own private snowstorm" - HA! - I like that!!

  4. Castle Rock Gift and Garden had some Exochorda racemosa last year. Be sure to put that cutting in a bucket of water when taking it down to the Bride.

  5. Whoa, terminology please. As anonymous commented, the plant may be a male plant, thus indicating that the species is dioecious, not monoecious. In fact, Exochorda may be monoecious, dioecious or have perfect flowers (a functioning hermaphrodite). There are other monoecious rosaceae shrubs, to wit, Leucosidea.

  6. Oh oh...I stand corrected! Dioecious it should be: and I think I know who Mr. Anonymous number two is...Ernie!

    Leucosidea...brings back sweet memories.


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