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mallow ninebark

Physocarpus malvaceus

Water:
Light:
Habit:
Height:
Bloom color:
Bloom time:
low - medium
full sun - part shade
upright
4 - 8'
white
summer

Photo credit: 

E. Conrad

Ninebark seed pods
Ninebark seed pods

Photo credit: Elliott Conrad

Ninebark shrubs provide a perfect understory layer in open forest
Ninebark shrubs provide a perfect understory layer in open forest

Photo credit: Elliott Conrad

Red fall color, although ninebarks often start turning red with summer drought
Red fall color, although ninebarks often start turning red with summer drought

Photo credit: Elliott Conrad

Ninebark seed pods
Ninebark seed pods

Photo credit: Elliott Conrad

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A medium-size, shade-tolerant shrub with beautiful flowers and attractive fall color. An understory species, mallow ninebark is perfect for creating an extra layer below established trees. It will tolerate full sun with a little extra water. Ninebark deals with intense summer drought by bringing on the fall foliage a month or two early. There are cultivars available in nurseries, but ninebarks bred for color (a purple-leaf variety comes to mind) don't provide the nectar resources that our wildtype does. When in doubt, go native!