General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Dry Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Moderately alkaline (7.9 – 8.4)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 2 -45.6 °C (-50 °F) to -42.8 °C (-45°F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 5 to 8 feet (1.5-2.4 m)
Plant Spread: 4 to 6 feet (1.2-1.8 m)
Leaves: Deciduous
Other: poor to average yellow to purplish fall color
Fruit: Showy
Other: papery 4-parted bladder-like capsules begin reddish
Fruiting Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: Pink
Bloom Size: 1"-2"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Provides winter interest
Erosion control
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Birds
Resistances: Tolerates dry shade
Drought tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Sow in situ
Other info: seeds germinate easily without treatment
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Other: softwood summer cuttings at 60 degrees in peat:sand
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Common names
  • Eastern Ninebark
  • Atlantic Ninebark
  • Common Ninebark
  • Prairie Ninebark
  • Ninebark
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Physocarpus opulifolius
  • Synonym: Physocarpus opulifolius var. opulifolius
  • Synonym: Physocarpus stellatus
  • Synonym: Physocarpus australis

Photo Gallery
Location: Rock City, Lookout Mt. Ga.
Date: 2018-10-11
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-05-30
closer flower cluster shot
Location: Fairfax, VA | June, 2022
Date: 2022-06-03
brown sugar v.s regular
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-05-26
close-up of flowers of young shrub in landscape
Location: Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-06-10
flowers after real bloom
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Date: 2020-05-26
top of young shrub planted in a landscape
Location: Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-06-15
mature shrub
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-05-30
wild shrub along creek in bloom
Location: Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2016-05-30
flower clusters and leaves
Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, Pennsylvania
Date: 2014-10-26
base of stems with bark
Location: Crow's Nest Land Preserve in se PA
Date: 2015-06-10
mature shrub
Location: Fairfax, VA | June, 2022
Date: 2022-06-03
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-05-24
plain-jane seed-grown plant, I like it as much as the fancy culti
Location: DeKalb, Illinois
Date: early spring 1983
stems and bark
Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
Date: 2015-06-06
This plant is tagged in:
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  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 7, 2019 2:42 PM concerning plant:
    Ninebark gets its common name from having different aspects of its bark of the bark being smooth, in thin shreds, papery sheets, creamy, tan, light brown, darker brown, orange brown, and such. It is native to central Ontario & Quebec & spots in New Brunswick down the Appalachians to central Alabama to the Ozarks to spots in the eastern Great Plains to around the Great Lakes in bogs, bottomlands, along watercourses, upland forest edges, and on cliffs. It is twiggy and not real neat nor messy, an average looking shrub. It is fast growing, reliable, with a shallow, fibrous root system and is easy to transplant. The white flower clusters don't have a nice smell. The capsule fruits begin as a good red turning brown later on that is used by waterfowl, upland gamebirds, and small mammals. I like this species in its natural green-foliaged form in an informal or naturalistic landscape, and many native plant nurseries do sell this. Conventional nurseries sell a number of different cultivars of this species that usually have red foliage all season long and a few with yellow foliage all season; though, any such pigmented plants do lose the bright color during really warm or hot summertime. I have not seen the regular green mother species very much the last few decades. Even conventional nurseries used to sell some green ones in the 60's into the 80's.
  • Posted by Catmint20906 (PNW WA half hour south of Olympia - Zone 8a) on Aug 1, 2014 9:03 PM concerning plant:
    According to NPIN, Physocarpus opulifolius (Ninebark) has special value to native and honey bees, and attracts birds with its fruit pods.

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