What’s blooming in Fran’s yard? Ninebark

Blog and photos by Fran Glass,
Secretary and Membership Chair, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

White flower clusters

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) in bloom

Plant name:
(Physocarpus opulifolius)

This plant has showy clusters of white flowers in May and June.

Height is 6-9 feet.

Ninebark is a deciduous, Missouri-native shrub with arching canes and exfoliating bark which reveals layers of reddish to light-brown inner bark on mature stems. The bark provides winter interest as it peels away.

Why I chose this plant:
I chose ninebark because it can tolerate such a wide variety of conditions. It serves the purpose of a beautiful screen between my yard and that of the neighbors. Ninebark is a Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT) Plant of Merit.

pink buds

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) seed capsules and leaves

To my delight, one winter after the leaves had fallen, I discovered a cardinal nest from the previous summer.

Ninebark thrives in full sun to part shade. Fewer flowers and fruits may result from too much shade.

Does well in dry-to-moist sites, including rain gardens.

MOBOT plant profile

Available from:
Missouri Wildflowers Nursery

Where to see this plant:
St. Joe State Park. It grows on the bank next to the creek.

Lower Rock Creek, near Fredericktown, Missouri. It grows near the creek.

2 thoughts on “What’s blooming in Fran’s yard? Ninebark

  1. Ninebark is allso available from the Missouri Dept of Conservation annual seedling plant sale; plants are from the George White Plant Nursery in Licking, Mo.

    Information on all the variety of seedlings, including Ninebark, is in the November issue of the Missouri Conservationist monthly publication which is free to Missouri residents.

  2. Besides being beautiful, Ninebark is good for erosion control. We planted it in our subdivision common ground where a gully was forming on a steep hillside. It did a beautiful (in two ways) job of stopping the erosion.

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