Previous Plant Next Plant

Physocarpus opulifolius

Atlantic Ninebark / Common Ninebark

Atlantic ninebark is fast-growing shrub for borders or screens and is great for massing. In May and June the white flowers appear with a touch of pink. They provide nectar and pollen for butterflies, native bees and other beneficial insects. The reddish seedpods appear in September and October adding another season of interest. Many birds enjoy the seed and also find shelter and nesting in the dense branches. Good yellow fall color. An easy to grow shrub that will tolerate both wet and dry sites. It responds well to pruning, even hard cut backs.

Benefits

  • Spring flowers provide nectar and pollen for butterflies and native bees
  • Songbirds, especially finches like to eat the seed
  • Yellow fall color and attractive exfoliating bark
  • Fast growing, insect and disease resistant, and drought-tolerant
  • It’s an attractive, low maintenance plant that benefits our environment
  • A great alternative to invasive barberry (Berberis)

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

This beauty grows well in moist to well-drained soil, but it is adaptable to sandy sites and heavey clay. Plant it in full sun to light shade. Once established it will only need occasional watering during dry weather. May be cut back hard in early spring to control size.


Height
5-10 ft

spacer

Spread
5-10 ft

USDA Hardiness Zone 2-6

Native Range

Found near stream banks, rocky hillsides and woodland edges.

Native Trivia

The old bark on branches will peel in layers or strips, hence the common name "Ninebark". Young stems are green, older stems turn a darker reddish-brown. Adds winter interest.

Characteristics & Attributes

Shade
Sun
Beneficial insects
Butterflies
Songbirds
Plan Sub Group
Medium to Tall Shrubs
Small Shrubs
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
Soil
Heavy clay
Humus-rich
Saline or alkaline
Well-drained
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Dry
Moist
Moist but well-drained
Wet
Bloom Time
Late Spring / Early Summer
Habitat Collection
Butterfly
Songbird
Native Habitat
Coastal
Forest
Riparian, wetland
Foliage Color
Dark Green
Green
Uses
Border
Cut or dried flower
Drought tolerant
Erosion control
Hedge, screen
Mass plant
Meadow
Naturalizes
Wind tolerant
Native to
Alabama
Arkansas
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Missouri
Nebraska
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Vermont
Virginia
West Virginia
Wisconsin