Ninebarks are so named because of their peeling bark, which is many layers deep. These deciduous shrubs resemble spirea and are closely related to it, bearing round clusters of tiny white or pinkish flowers in spring or early summer. All have medium green leaves with lobed edges. Prune plants as needed after bloom; rejuvenate by cutting old stems to the ground.Physocarpus capitatus
Native to mountains of western North America. This grows as a multi-trunked shrub to 8 ft. tall and wide, with 2-in. leaves and dense clusters of white flowers. Clustered buds are as attractive as the opened blossoms.
Native to eastern and central North America. To 9 ft. tall and 10 ft. wide, with leaves to 3 in. long. Many white or pinkish blossoms in each cluster. Varieties are more attractive than the species. ‘Diabolo’, to 9–12 ft. high and wide, has intense reddish purple leaves (foliage color can tend toward dark green in very hot summers or when plant is grown in partial shade). Leaves of ‘Luteus’ are yellow when plant is grown in sunlight, yellow green in shade.
Compact varieties to 4–6 ft. tall and broad include ‘Dart’s Gold’, similar to ‘Luteus’ but brighter; ‘Nanus’,with small, shallowly lobed dark green leaves; and ‘Nugget’,with leaves that unfold golden yellow, gradually mature to lime green, and then turn gold again in fall.
In general, these Mexican and Central American cycads resemble Cycas revoluta and take the sa...
Like some sages, these reach 6 ft. tall and nearly as wide, with a rustic native look; once establishe...
A vigorous grower, reaching 15 to 30 ft. tall, with 4 to 8 in. leaves. This forerunner of the grapefru...