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Physocarpus opulifolius (L.) Maxim.

Modern name

Physocarpus opulifolius (L.) Maxim.


Spiraea opulifolia L.; Neillia opulifolia (L.) Brewer & Watson

A deciduous shrub 6 to 10 ft high, occasionally much more in diameter; bark glabrous, peeling. Leaves usually broadly ovate and three-lobed, sometimes only very slightly lobed or not at all, doubly toothed, 112 to 3 in. long and from half to fully as wide, glabrous; stalk 14 to f in. long. Flowers numerous, in hemispherical corymbose clusters 2 in. wide, produced in June at the end of leafy twigs from the previous year’s branches. Each flower is white tinged with rose, 14 to 13 in. across, and borne on a slender downy or glabrous stalk. Stamens about thirty, purplish. Fruits consisting of three to five pods 14 in. long, which are inflated, glabrous or nearly so, and usually carry two egg-shaped seeds.

Native of eastern N. America; introduced, according to Aiton, in 1687, and a common shrub in gardens. The largest I have seen was in Sir A. Buchan Hepburn’s garden at Smeaton, Scotland, which was 30 ft across and 10 ft high. The shrub is a handsome one in blossom, and useful for rough shrubberies where plants are left largely to take care of themselves.

cv. ‘Luteus’. – Leaves of a beautiful golden yellow when young, but soon becoming green and almost of the same shade as the type. Once popular, this, like others of its class of golden-leaved shrubs, is being superseded by varieties which retain their colour until autumn. Bot. Mag., n.s., t. 459.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

cv. ‘Darts Gold’. – Perhaps an improvement on ‘Luteus’, holding its colour well into the summer. Put into commerce by the Darthuizer Nurseries, Holland.



Other species in the genus