24 March 2012

Common Ninebark (Atlantic Ninebark) or Physocarpus opulifolius is a shrub that feeds butterflies and birds

Ninebark, Physocarpus, is a deciduous, American-native shrub in the Rose family that succeeds in difficult locations, including hillsides, moist thickets, river side bars, and thin-soil rocky areas with wet and dry conditions. It thrives in half shade or sun, too.
USDA Plants Profile
Native to central and eastern U.S., it is cold hardy from zone 2 to 8. At maturity, it will grow up to 5 or 8 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide and can work as part of a windbreak hedgerow.

Oklahoma BioSurvey points out that Ninebark can grow up to 10 feet tall. As for it's Latin names -
Physocarpus means bladder fruit; opulifolius refers to a similarity in appearance of ninebark and Viburnum opulus leaves, an imported European ornamental shrub.
The pink and white flowers show up from May to June depending on your zone and weather.
The flowers are top notch nectar and the red, winter fruit is loved by finches, wrens, thrushes, robins, sparrows and chickadees.

 We bought a bundle of bare root plants to use as hedge row for wildlife and because its complex root structure will help prevent erosion on our hill - a constant problem.
The common name, ninebark comes from its peeling cinnamon colored brown bark. Though the bark only shows after the leaves drop, the contrast with the red berries is quite a sight.

Ninebark has no known disease or insect problems, is drought tolerant and does fine in clay soil.

The rain has stopped so we'll get them in the ground today.

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