FutureStarr

Bladdernut

Bladdernut

Bladdernut

Most people who experience it are not even aware that they have it. Imagine experiencing the mental symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome when you hadn't even heard of that term before. Bladdernut is what happens when the bladder, which is usually stored in the pelvic area between the pubic bones and adjacent to the rectum, becomes infected. It can also affect the urine flow and cause complications that can lead to chronic pain and incontinence.American bladdernut, is a fast-growing, upright, deciduous, perennial, flowering shrub or small tree in the Staphyleaceae family. It attains a height and width of 15 feet and is heavily branched when mature and produces suckers to reproduce. It is commonly found in nutrient rich bottomlands, woodland thickets, and moist soils along waterways where it establishes dense, shrubby, colonies in the wild. Undergound runners can form offsets making this plant spread in the landscape.

Bladdernut

The flowers attract honeybees, bumblebees, Halictid bees (Halictus spp., Lasioglossum spp.), Andrenid bees (Andrena spp.), Syrphid flies, dance flies (Empis spp.), and the Giant Bee Fly (Bombylius major). Most of these insects suck nectar from the flowers, although the Syrphid flies feed on the pollen and some of the bees collect pollen for their larvae. Another insect, Thrips quinciensis, has been observed sucking juices from Bladdernut (see Stannard, 1968), while Lopidea staphyleae (Bladdernut Plant Bug), is a monophagous or oligophagous feeder on this shrub (see Knight, 1941). Additional information about floral-faunal relationships for this species is scarce. Apparently, White-Tailed Deer are less likely to browse on Bladdernut than other woody shrubs, although the reasons for this preference are unclear.

In particular, the seed capsules are highly unusual in appearance and somewhat ornamental, reminding me of the papery husks that cover the berries of Physalis spp. (Ground Cherries), but the former are much larger in size and more angular in shape. The opposite trifoliate leaves of Bladdernut are also distinctive – other shrubs have alternate leaves, simple leaves, or compound leaves with more leaflets. Sometimes Staphylea trifolia is called 'American Bladdernut' to distinguish it from other shrubs in the Bladdernut family.Habitat: Bladdernut grows in rich woodland areas and thickets where it receives at least partial shade to full shade. It tolerates a variety of soils but prefers moist soils. In the Woodland Garden they grow in several places, the larger specimens near Guidebook Station 12. Some also grow on the back path leading to the Upland Garden. They sucker easily and will form a thicket. The woody root system has a main taproot with branching laterals. (Source:www.friendsofthewildflowergarden.org)

 

 

 

Related Articles