Physocarpus opulifolius- Ninebark


General: An upright, spreading shrub with a round, dense habit and exfoliating bark that grows 5 to 10’ with a similar spread.

Leaves: Alternate, simple and 1 to 3” long with 3 to 5 lobes. Leaves are a medium green color in the summer turning a yellowish bronze in the fall.

Flower: Pink or white 5 petaled flowers in 1 to 2” dense clusters appear May to June resembling the blooms of spiraea.

Fruit: Drooping clusters of ¼” reddish seed capsules appear September to October.

Attributes:  A shrub for massing, borders and screens. It’s dense, coarse habit make it difficult to utilize in the small home garden, but newer cultivars featuring compact habit and leaf color variations have lead to versatility in use.


Hardiness:  Zones 2-7

Growing Conditions:  Extremely adaptable. Prefers dry to medium well drained soils in full sun to part shade.

Maintenance: Fireblight, powdery mildew and leaf spots.

Transplanting: Easily transplanted to well-draining soil due to adaptability.

Our Experience

Experience at Great Hill

While we don’t currently have ninebark on the landscape, it is a popular and useful plant for our zone. Its ability to flourish in any number of soils and conditions coupled with availability of many new cultivars give the home gardener a wide range of uses for this plant.