Gardeners looking for bushes with white blooms have a wide range of options.They can choose from delicate or dwarf plants as well as large, spreading plants. The flowers may be inconspicuous or dramatic, appearing in spring, summer or fall. Some of these shrubs will bloom in shade, while others bring their white-and-green color scheme to the garden's sunniest spots. Many follow their flowers with colorful fruit.
Deciduous Japanese beautyberry (Callicarpa japonica) is a shrub that grows 4 to 6 feet high and wide. Its arching branches have 3- to 5-inch, lance-like green leaves. Between June and July, says the Missouri Botanical Garden, the bushes display 1 1/2-inch clusters of white flowers. Clusters of vivid violet or purple berries that ripen from late summer into October are an even showier feature. Birds feed on the glossy fruit.
Japanese beautyberry is hardy to minus 20° Fahrenheit. In severe winters, it may die back to the ground and re-emerge in spring. Plant it in sun--for maximum bloom and berries--to partial shade and averagely moist, well-drained soil. Hard pruning in early spring increases the blooms. Maximize cross-pollination and flowering by planting the shrubs in groups.
Flowering Quince "Jet Trail"
The hybrid cultivar flowering quince "Jet Trail" (Chaenomeles x superba "Jet Trail") is a compact, deciduous shrub. Reaching 3 to 4 feet high and wide, it's hardy to minus 20° F. This densely twigged, thorny bush blooms very early, with clusters of 1 1/2-inch, five-petaled white flowers arriving in March before its glossy, deep green leaves. Edible yellowish-green fruit ripens in autumn. The quince fruit is very bitter eaten off the shrubs, but it makes tasty preserves with enough sweetener.
In wet springs, "Jet Trail" may develop fungal leaf spot, cautions the Missouri Botanical Garden. Aphids may feed on its new growth. Use it as a hedge, privacy screen, or in a shrub border. It flowers most heavily in full sun, but tolerates partial shade. Plant it in averagely moist, well-drained loam.
Bottlebrush buckeye (Aesculus parviflora), a 6- to 12-foot-high shrub, grows in the eastern and southern woods from Pennsylvania south to Alabama. It can be identified by its candelabra-like branches, and has deep green, compound leaves that become greenish yellow in autumn. Its lower branches may touch the ground. In June and July, bottlebrush buckeye makes a showy display with feathery, cylindrical spires of pink stamens and white blooms. Their bright red anthers provide colorful contrast. The flowers bring hummingbirds and butterflies to the garden.
The shrub' s buckeye nuts have vivid yellow husks. It's a good choice as a specimen, border or shady spot planting, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Give it well-drained, moist, limestone- or loam-based sandy soil. Its leaves and seeds are toxic to humans.