Common Ninebark

Physocarpus opulifolius

Common Ninebark, scientifically known as Physocarpus opulifolius, is a versatile deciduous shrub native to North America. It is valued for its attractive clusters of white to pink flowers, distinctive peeling bark, and rich green foliage. It thrives in well-drained to slightly moist soils.

Flowers: J F M A M J J A S O N D
Origin: This shrub is native to eastern and central North America, ranging from eastern Canada to the southeastern United States.
Family: Rosaceae (Rose family)
Size: Typically grows to a height of 3 to 10 feet (1.8 to 3 meters), with a similar spread, forming a rounded, multi-stemmed shape.
Sun: Thrives in full sun to light shade, but can tolerate shade.
Watering: Consistent moisture is preferred. Mulching around the base of the plant can help retain moisture.
Growth Rate: Fast
Soil: Well-drained, moderately fertile soil is ideal. It can tolerate a range of soil types, including clay and sandy soils from dry to moist.
Pruning: Prune for shape and structure. Remove dead or damaged branches as needed.
Disease and Pests:
Uses: The flowers provide nectar for pollinators, and the dense growth provides cover and nesting sites for birds. Its extensive root system makes it effective in stabilizing soil, making it a suitable choice for erosion-prone areas. Special value to native bees and honey bees.


Springtime Sanctuaries: The Importance of Leaving Stems for Pollinators

In the delicate dance of spring’s arrival, our gardens hold secrets of renewal. Among them, the steadfast sentinels of last year’s growth stand tall – the perennial and grass stems. While their outward appearance may suggest dormancy, within their midst lies a bustling ecosystem.

Many insects, including beneficial ones like bees, butterflies, and ladybugs, overwinter in the hollow stems of perennials and grasses. These stems provide shelter from harsh winter conditions, protecting them until spring.

The uncut perennial and grass stems also serve as valuable nesting material for various bird species. Birds, especially those that build cup-shaped nests, such as finches and sparrows, often seek out these stems. They will gather and weave them into their nests, providing a secure and insulated environment for their eggs and fledglings.

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