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Actaea matsumurae 'White Pearl'

Actaea matsumurae 'White Pearl'



About this cultivar:

Actaea matsumurae 'White Pearl' was originally bred in 1932, still crazy after all these years. This is a green-leaved, late flowering (often in November!) form of Actea that produces white flowers and then lime-green seedheads. Probably the most popular Actaea we grow in our garden - fantastic flowers!

  • Position: Full sun, partial shade (better in partial shade)
  • Soil: Almost any soil (that isn't too dry) - grows well in Ballyrobert!
  • Flowers: September, October, November
  • Other features: Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (RHS AGM)
  • Hardiness: Fully hardy - grows well in Ballyrobert!
  • Habit: Bushy, Columnar or Upright
  • Foliage: Deciduous
  • Height: 90 to 120 cm  (3 - 4 ft)
  • Spread: 45 to 75 cm  (1.5 - 2.5 ft)
  • Time to full growth: 2 to 5 years
  • Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial
  • Colour: White, green
  • Goes well with: Ferns (Dryopteris, Polystichum and Polypodium), Heucheras and glossier grasses such as Hackencloa. Rodgersia, Anemones, Fuchsias, Hydrangeas.

About this genus:

Actaea are herbaceous perennials, many of which were known as Circimifuga from 1732 (when John Bartram discovered the plant) until 2000 when DNA evidence discovered Circimifuga were also Actaea. Whatever you call them, Actaea have a majestic frame - tall and graceful - with dark straight stems. The leaves are often matt shades of the dark bronze-black-brown, but can also be glossy or green.

Depending on the cultivar the fragrant flowers can be delicate white, cream or pale pink, and are tightly packed on dreamy spikes. This foliage, flower, and fragrance combination undoubtedly makes it a favorite in our garden at Ballyrobert and we think it should be in every garden.

You're often told Actaea prefer part shade or full shade and thrive in cooler, moist areas. However we grow one in an old bath in the middle of our yard! (I think by definition the climate in the British Isles is never full-sun). If too dry their leaves scorch, if too sunny the leaves bleach. Difficult to propagate since they don't like being disturbed and are quite slow growing. The simplex species tends to flower in later Autumn. The Atropurpurea Group typically have purple to bronze tinted foliage

In the garden Actaea tend to be used for their foliage and look great mixed with other foliage plants such as ferns (Dryopteris, Polystichum, and Polypodium), Heucheras, and glossier grasses such as Hakonechloa. Flower-wise Actaea also work well with Anemones, Fuchsias, and even some Hydrangeas.

General points to bear in mind when ordering:

When your plants arrive they can usually be planted straight out after soaking in water for 3 or 4 minutes. A good rule of thumb; make the soil level of the pot level with the rest of your border when planting out. Another rule of thumb; nearly all our plants will grow in indirect sunlight; we are in the British Isles after all. Another rule of thumb (!); Plants usually do better in the ground, which is unsurprising because that where they can from! Containers are ok if plants are kept fed and watered during their growing months, and in a warmer place during the winter. Try not to over water!

During the year plants can be in various states of growth. The same plant delivered in early spring could be much bigger or smaller if delivered in late spring. Please be aware of this when ordering or receiving them. Some plants may have their flowers and foliage cut back when we send them, and look a bit awful! Don't worry, it is for their own good; some plants like to travel light. Similarly bulbs, rhizomes, and some plants may be dormant or dying back for the year when you order them - that is the nature of hardy perennials so don't worry. Plant them out and wait, perhaps until next year, patience is a virtue in the hardy perennial game. Eventually your hardy perennials should grow back beautiful year after year after year. Again, this is the nature of hardy perennials – they die back and grow back, die back and grow back, year after year after year. Some years are better than others. You get the picture!

We offer no guarantees but if after a year or so the plant has died, let us know and we'll see what we can do. In general, if you are upset in any way please contact us – we're human. There is only me, mum, and dad working here; we can make mistakes and are happy to rectify them or help out. We like having a relationship with regular customers (rather than lots of one-off customers) so in no way do we want to upset anybody. Feedback also allows us to advise you and other customers about certain plants in certain areas.

After all that; if you have any issues please do contact us and we'll help out. We would love to hear from you!