Earlier this week I went over to a friend's house to see her garden. She has some plant material that is a little out of the ordinary and I really like it. One of the plants is a Ninebark. Many of you know the native variety Physocarpus opulifolius. We have this variety in the Learning Garden and I like the red berries in the fall.
My friend has a Ninebark cultivar that is really striking. It is a cross between the Physocarpus opulifolius 'Dart's Gold' and P. opulifolius 'Diablo'. Ninebark are hardy to a zones 3-8. There are fruits for the birds in the winter and really nice foliage through the growing season. 'Coppertina' has a bronze-y leaf that sparkles in the sunlight. Ninebark are easy to grow, take to pruning quite easily--you can limb it up to tree form or cut it back to have a nicely rounded shrub. It grows in full sun to part shade-- how accommodating!