Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) in the Ninebarks Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Ninebark
Give a thumbs up Eastern Ninebark
Give a thumbs up Atlantic Ninebark
Give a thumbs up Common Ninebark

Botanical names:
Physocarpus opulifolius Accepted
Physocarpus opulifolius var. opulifolius Synonym
Physocarpus stellatus Synonym

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

closer flower cluster shot

Garden Tours:  ChelleGarden Tours: Chelle
April 8, 2012

This is a Garden Tour you'll long remember. Chelle has done marvelous things with her 10 acres in Indiana and she will show us both the before and after photos. We think you are going to love this tour! (Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge so you'll get the full picture!)

(Full article31 comments)
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Photo gallery:
Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2016-05-30closer flower cluster shot
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Location: Rock City, Lookout Mt. Ga.Date: 2018-10-11
By chickhill
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Location: Allentown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-05-24plain-jane seed-grown plant, I like it as much as the fancy culti
By plantrob
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Location: Allentown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-06-06
By plantrob
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Location: Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaDate: 2016-06-15mature shrub
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Location: Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaDate: 2015-06-10flowers after real bloom
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2016-05-30wild shrub along creek in bloom
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Location: Downingtown, PennsylvaniaDate: 2016-05-30flower clusters and leaves
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Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, PennsylvaniaDate: 2014-10-26base of stems with bark
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Location: Crow's Nest Land Preserve in se PADate: 2015-06-10mature shrub
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Location: DeKalb, IllinoisDate: early spring 1983stems and bark
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Posted by Catmint20906 (Maryland - Zone 7a) on Aug 1, 2014 9:03 PM

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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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Mar 7, 2019 2:42 PM

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.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
An unknown shrub by Pavelas Aug 12, 2019 1:21 PM 5
Please help identify tree by thunder_river May 21, 2018 8:09 PM 5
yet another bush ID, please by pdermer1x May 13, 2018 9:11 PM 12
new hedge shrub choices after removing judd viburnums that died after many years by GWiz Jul 6, 2019 5:06 AM 6
what is good for wet shade under trees also tall by dana Mar 23, 2018 4:30 PM 3
So I need help with landscaping... by Countrylife Jul 26, 2017 8:12 PM 1
Spring rains causes wet yard by cward10134 May 16, 2017 4:52 AM 6
What plant is this? by Ivy98 Oct 26, 2016 4:14 PM 7
any idea what this bush is? by Gschnettler Aug 14, 2016 9:48 AM 3
I Moved And Started All Over With My Garden - Progression! by Legalily Jun 11, 2019 5:06 AM 1,336

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