How to Identify a White Flowering Shrub


Gardeners plant shrubs in many landscapes because they produce fragrant flowers in many colors, including white, and provide an aesthetically pleasing privacy barrier. If you encounter white flowering shrubs in another garden, or happen to inherit them in your current home, you can identify the plant by taking note of specific growing conditions and characteristics. This will give you the option to grow these bushes where you choose and knowledge of how to care for them.

Step 1

Note the location where you see the white flowering shrub. The state, city and county helps you narrow down the possibilities.

Step 2

Record the month(s) when you see the white blossoms appear. For example does the shrub bloom throughout the year, or do the flowers only appear in the spring and summer months?

Step 3

Write down whether the leaves of the shrub stay on the branches during the year. Evergreen shrubs retain their leaves at all times, while deciduous shrubs lose the foliage during the fall season.

Step 4

Inspect the white flowers and make a note of the characteristics including the color(s) and growth pattern. For instance, the Eastern Mojave buckwheat displays a pink center and grows in clusters, while the antelope bitterbrush grow five petals in a yellowish-white color.

Step 5

Measure the height of the shrub at its maturity. White flowering shrubs, such as the white arctic mountain heather, reach a maximum height of 0.4 feet, while the American century plant grows 6 feet tall.

Step 6

Enter your findings in the U.S. Department of Agriculture's "Advanced Search" database page (see Resources). Select your location information under the "Distribution" heading and click the "Shrub" option under the "Ecology" section. Click the "White" flower color under the "Morphology/Physiology" section and answer the remaining questions on the page. Click the "Display Results" button and click through the links that appear until you identify your white flowering shrub.

Things You'll Need

  • Pencil
  • Notebook
  • Measuring tape


  • Washington State University: Propagating Deciduous and Evergreen Shrubs, Trees and Vines with Stem Cuttings
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: Eastern Mojave Buckwheat
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: Antelope Bitterbrush
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: White Arctic Mountain Heather
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: American Century Plant

Who Can Help

  • U.S. Department of Agriculture: Advanced Search
  • Louisiana State University Agricultural Center: Evergreen Shrubs Database
  • Wildflower Information: Wildflower Pictures, Wildflower Gardening Tips and Flower Folklore
Keywords: white flowering shrub, identify a shrub, plant identification

About this Author

Jenny Glass has been writing professionally since 2001 and is a glass artist with a Web design and technical writing background. In addition to writing for Demand Studios, she has been a contributor to "Glass Line Magazine" and runs her own art glass business.