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Physocarpus opulifolius

Many varieties, tolerates a variety of soils, showy flowers. Mound-forming shrub with closely spaced stems that grows 8-10' tall. A popular foundation shrub because it is tough and easy to maintain. It is also a good shrub for restorations along streams, lakes, swamps, calcareous conditions and areas along Lake Superior.

USDA symbol: PHOP

General Information

Plant TypeShrub
Height5 to 8 feet
Light ExposurePart Sun, Sun
Soil MoistureDry, Medium
Bloom ColorWhite
Ninebark (Ninebark<div><em class="small">Physocarpus opulifolius</em></div>)
Photo credit: Metro Blooms (Click to enlarge)


Flooding / Inundation ToleranceModerate
General Resilience10
Salt ToleranceNone
Stress ToleranceDrought Tolerant, Fire Tolerant, General Disturbance

Pollinator Value: Very High

Bloom MonthsMay to August
Larval Host ofBees, Moths
Specific Pollinators HostedAndrena melanochroa, Eulithis molliculata, Habrosyne gloriosa
Pollinator BenefitInsect Pollinated, Provides Nectar, Supports Generalists

Project Planning

Project TypeRain Garden, Restoration, Sandy or Engineered Soils, Shoreline Buffer
Coefficient of Conservatism7
Herbivore SensitivityHigh
Rate of SpreadSlow
Soil StabilizationDeep
Vegetative ReproductionClonal


CountyCarlton, Cook, Lake, St. Louis
EcoregionDriftless Area, Lake Agassiz Plain, North Central Hardwood Forests, Northern Glaciated Plains, Northern Lakes and Forests, Northern Minnesota Wetlands, Western Cornbelt Plains
Approximate Eco ProvinceEastern Broadleaf Forest, Laurentian Mixed Forest, Prairie Parkland, Tallgrass Aspen Parklands