Ninebark

Also called Atlantic or Common  or Eastern Ninebark

Scientific Name:  Physocarpus opulifolius

Light:  Sun to Part Sun

Zone: 2 to 8

Height:  5 to 12 feet

Width:  4 to 6 feet

Flowers:  May to July, white or pink, showy

Fruit/Seed:  July to March, orange to red capsule

Fall Color:  yellow to purple

Butterflies:   excellent nectar source

Birds: The fruits are eaten by many species of birds and they use the dense cover for nesting sites

Hummingbird:

Deer Resistant:

Insects/Pollinators:  excellent nectar source

Native:  Carroll and the mountains and piedmont of Maryland

Idea Garden:

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Description

Ninebark is a tough, drought tolerant plant that can be used as a hedge, for erosion control or in a native plant garden.  Its papery bark continually molts in thin strips.

Ninebark flowers are an excellent nectar source, and the fruits are eaten by many species of birds. Birds also like to use the dense cover for nesting.

Ninebark can be pruned after flowering, or older canes can be removed right down to the ground to control height.   It’s easy to propagate from soft cuttings, and seed needs no pre-treatment.

Cultivars/Varieties

var. intermedius – smaller and more dense, 4′ tall.

‘Nanus’ – similar to var. intermedius but smaller, 2′ tall

‘Dart’s Gold’ – dwarf,  yellow-foliage, 5′ tall and wide, fades to green by summer in warm areas.

‘Nugget’ – similar to ‘Dart’s Gold’,  more dense, 6′ tall and wide.

‘Monlo’ (Diabolo) – leaves emerge deep purple, fades to green or purple-green in hot, humid climates, pruned harshly each spring to promote large, highly-colored leaves.

‘Snowfall’ – green-leaved, more dense habit, 7′ tall and wider.

Sources

Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Atlantic Ninebark – USDA Plant Fact Sheet

Ninebark – Missouri Botanical Garden

Ninebark – University of Connecticut Plant Database

Three Cheers for Ninebark:  Physocarpus opulifolius – Virginia Native Plant Society

Recommended for Wildlife by

Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping: Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Essential Native Trees and Shrubs for the Eastern United States by Dove & Woolridge

Photos

Robert H. Mohlenbrock, hosted by the USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA NRCS. 1995. Northeast wetland flora: Field office guide to plant species. Northeast National Technical Center, Chester.

University of Connecticut Plant Database, http://hort.uconn.edu/plants, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.

Additional information

Zones

Zone 5, Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8

Light

Part Sun, Sun

Soil

Clay, Loam, Moist, Wet

Flower Color

Pink, White

Flower Season

Spring, Summer

Fruit Season

Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter

Native

Carroll, Mountain, Piedmont

Wildlife Value

Beneficial Insects, Food for Birds, Hummingbird, Nectar, Nest Sites, Summer Cover

Notable Features

Erosion Control, Hedge, Winter Interest

Local Availability

Available, Widely Available

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