Pacific Ninebark

Pacific ninebark (Physocarpus capitatus)
Physocarpus capitatus

Pacific ninebark, or tall ninebark, is native to western North America from southern Alaska to southern California, and east to Montana and Utah.

It is a dense deciduous shrub growing to 1 to 2.5 meters tall. The name references the appearance of the bark, which peels in many layers. The shrub has distinctive maple-like lobed leaves 3-14 cm long and broad, and clusters of small white flowers with five petals and numerous red-tipped stamens. The unique fruit is an inflated glossy red pod which turns dry and brown and then splits open to release seeds.

It is often found in wetlands, but also forms thickets along rivers and in moist forest habitats. While it grows robustly in wet environments, it is drought-tolerant to a degree and is a popular garden plant.


  • Light Requirements: Part Shade
  • Water Requirements: Moist, Seasonally Wet
  • Ease of Growing: Easy to grow
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Spreads: Yes
  • Wildlife Support: Pollinators, Pest-eating Insects, Birds or Mammals
  • Edible: No
  • Mature Height: 8-12ft
  • Mature Width: 4-7ft