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Physocarpus opulifolius Lady in Red is a hardy shrub with rich bright red foliage which has attractive dense small pale pink flowers that are star shaped. An ideal choice for adding colour the Physocarpus opulifolius Lady in Red is suitable for planting in beds and borders or can be used for hedging or screening.
Physocarpus opulifolius (Common Ninebark) is a fast-growing, upright, spreading, deciduous shrub with an exquisite fountain shape and incredibly decorative exfoliating bark. Profuse creamy-white flowers, delicately pink-tinged, appear in dense, rounded clusters in late spring before they give way to drooping clusters of red fruit in fall. Rich in nectar, the blossoms attract plenty of beneficial insects. The flowers contrast beautifully with the interesting maple-like foliage of green lobed leaves, which warms up to yellow in the fall. Hidden by the foliage during the growing season, the bark is revealed in all its splendor later in the season, peeling in multiple strips to display layers of reddish to light brown inner bark, providing winter interest. Known for its strong hardiness, insect and disease resistance, and drought tolerance, Common Ninebark is a splendid screening and hedge plant.
Like many species common to the eastern US, Ninebark's range only creeps into Minnesota's most eastern counties. It is however only occasionally encountered in woodlands, more predominantly found in transition habitats characterized by rocky or sandy soils in full sun to part shade with sufficient moisture. It is easily recognized by the numerous rounded clusters of white flowers or long-stalked fruit, and the slender canes with peeling bark. While not recognized by all botanists, it is separated into two varieties in Minnesota: var. intermedius (a.k.a. Physocarpus intermedius) found in our central woodlands and southeastern bluff country, characterized by spreading stellate hairs on the fruits, and var. opulifolius found along the rocky cliffs and stream banks of the Arrowhead region which has smooth fruit. Var. opulifolius is also noted as having larger leaves than var. intermedius, and larger clusters with up to 50 flowers, where var. intermidius clusters have 15 to 20 flowers. Ninebark is a very durable landscape shrub with numerous cultivars selected on leaf color (gold or red), shrub size (dwarf) and flower cluster size. (Source: www.minnesotawildflowers.info)