Common ninebark

A native shrub coming into bloom in June is the common ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius). Ninebark is a fast-growing multiple-stemmed shrub that prefers moist areas with moderate amounts of sunshine.


The ninebark has flaky, peeling brown bark that can be removed in layers; hence its common name. Ninebark has a white flower that blooms in late spring, and it produces a leathery red fruit that turns to a straw color when it is ripe.

Most species of ninebark are native to North America although one species exists in northeastern part of Asia. Native Americans utilized ninebark for a number of medicinal purposes. Wildlife use the shrub mainly for cover, although it is a food source for bees, some songbirds and grouse. Many cultivars of ninebark have been produced some with yellowish to purple-colored foliage. Ninebark is used extensively for hedgerows in the English countryside.

Article by FCFCDB member

Nature Notes for 6/14/2015