Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Physocarpus opulifolius (L.) Maxim.
- Family: Rose (Rosaceae)
- Flowering: May-July
- Field Marks: This shrub is characterized by its simple leaves, absence of spines, its dry
capsular fruits, and its flowers with 5 petals, 30-40 stamens, and usually 3-5 pistils.
- Habitat: Along streams, thickets.
- Habit: Much-branched shrub to 10 feet tall; bark separating into thin layers at maturity, brown.
- Stems: Twigs slender, brown, smooth, older bark loose and peeling in strips; buds ovoid, up to 1/4 inch long, brown, sparsely hairy; bundle traces 3.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, broadly ovate to spherical, sometimes heart-shaped at the base, usually 3-lobed, toothed irregularly, smooth or sparsely hairy on the upper surface, paler and hairy at least in the axils of the veins on the lower surface, up to 2 1/2 inches long; leaf stalks up to 1 inch long, smooth.
- Flowers: Several in terminal clusters, white or pinkish, up to 1/2 inch across, on smooth or short-hairy stalks 1/2-1 inch long.
- Sepals: 5, green, united below to form a bell, smooth or short-hairy, up to 1/4 inch long.
- Petals: 5, white or pinkish, free from each other but attached to the throat of the sepals, rounded at the tip.
- Stamens: 30-40, attached to the throat of the sepals.
- Pistils: 3-5, free from each other, the ovary superior, short-stalked.
- Fruits: Follicles inflated, smooth, 1/4-1/2 inch long, purple-tinged; seeds pale, obovoid, 1/12-1/10 inch long.
- Notes: This species is sometimes grown as an ornamental.
Previous Species -- Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)
Return to Species List -- Group 5
Next Species -- Red Spruce (Picea rubens)