Gardeners are always on the hunt for really good leaves, and Ninebark is one of the shrubs that gives them to us. Glowing gold or amber, dusky purple or emerald green, Physocarpus offers a rainbow of foliage that is truly garden worthy.
Ninebarks aren't only about the leaves though. They may be at their best in summer when covered in clusters of white flowers. Berries for birds follow and when the leaves fall off in autumn, they reveal striped bark that peels off in long slivers.
There are two species that are commonly grown. Physocarpus capitatus, Western Ninebark is native to the Pacific Northwest and is one of our Native Plant Picks.
Eastern Ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius, is the species covered in this article.
Glowing orange and gold new leaves with touches of plum turn green in with age. 'Amber Jubilee' grows in an upright round shape and is a bit smaller than some other forms.
Grows 5-6' x 4-5' - sun, part shade – Hardy Z2
New leaves are orange and turn red as they mature. Growth is upright & fountain shaped.
Grows 8-10' x 5-6' - sun, part shade – Hardy Z3
Bright gold new leaves, sometimes tinged red turn chartreuse toward the center of the plant where light doesn't make its way in. 'Dart's Gold' shows its color best when it has morning sun and afternoon shade, or dappled light. It grows in an upright fountain shape.
Grows 5' x 5' - part shade – Hardy Z2
Dusky dark purple leaves turn red in autumn before falling. Shape is upright and arching.
Grows 8-10' x 8-10' - sun, part shade – Hardy Z2
Aptly named, 'Little Devil' is much like 'Diablo', just smaller in every way; smaller (cuter) leaves, smaller (cuter) stature, smaller (cuter) flower clusters. Leaf color is different in that it's brighter red and glossy where 'Diablo' is matte. Stems glow red and leaves turn green on the interior of the plant.
Grows 3-4' x 3-4' - sun, part shade – Hardy Z2
Red leaves are bright when they first emerge and darken just a little. Leaves are a tad smaller than 'Diablo' too. The shape is upright and arching. Grows 5-6' x 5-6'
Sun, part shade – Hardy Z2, -50f
Read up on some of our favorite shrubs and remember, this is only a smattering of the variety of shrubs we carry all year long! Note: Viewing a Native Plant will take you into our Native Plant section.