General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Partial Shade to Full Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
Slightly alkaline (7.4 – 7.8)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 3 -40 °C (-40 °F) to -37.2 °C (-35)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 8 - 15 feet
Plant Spread: 10 - 20 feet
Leaves: Deciduous
Fruit: Showy
Other: 1 to 2 inch long, 3 celled bladder-like, ovate, papery green seed capsules, maturing to yellow and then brown; persists into winter. Each capsule contains several, large hard, dark brown seeds.
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Showy
Blooms on old wood
Flower Color: White
Other: Creamy white.
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Spring
Uses: Erosion control
Flowering Tree
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Propagation: Seeds: Stratify seeds: 3 months warm; 3 months at 40 degrees F
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Tolerates poor soil

Common names
  • Bladdernut
  • American bladdernut
  • American Bladder Nut

  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Apr 17, 2020 3:39 PM concerning plant:
    This interesting shrub species I do see occasionally along or a little into the forest of southeast Pennsylvania. It is native to southeast Ontario & a tiny bit of far southern Quebec down into northern Georgia to central Alabama into eastern Oklahoma, Kansas, & Nebraska up into southern Minnesota, through southern Wisconsin & Michigan, often found near watercourses and bodies of water, but can grow uphill in deep rich woods or on slopes. It grows in sort of wet to well-drained soils with a pH range of 6 to 8. It grows at a medium rate of about 1.5 feet/year. It can grow in full sun, but tends to grow in part-shade and can grow in full fairly deep shade. Its trifoliate compound leaves that are arranged oppositely on the twigs turn a green-yellow to a pale lemon yellow in the fall. It bears about 3/8" long small flowers that are greenish-white to creamy white in May with the leaves. The fruit is a 3-lobed papery inflated bladder-like capsule about 1.5 to 3 inches long, profusely produced, that begin as a creamy color in August and darken to brown in the fall and persist through December. It has shallow, fibrous roots and is easy to transplant and grow. I find it to be a most interesting upright, arching large shrub. It is sold by some native plant nurseries. It is a similar shrub to the Hoptree Wafer-Ash Ptelea trifoliata) and a little less so to the Common Buttonball (Cephalanthus occidentalis); with all three being able to blend well together.
Plant Events from our members
CraftyFox On July 13, 2021 Seeds sown
4 more seeds pulled and planted into Quarts individually.
21 seeds returned to cooler.
CraftyFox From July 11, 2021 to July 15, 2021 Seeds germinated
Other 2 pints sprouted.. First leaves emerging from first up.
CraftyFox On July 9, 2021 Plant emerged
1st pint sprouting, was kept under cloche, others lagging.
CraftyFox On July 2, 2021 Seeds germinated
3*28 seed emergent, planted into pints.
25 returned to cooler
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