Physocarpus capitatus
Common name: 
Western Ninebark
Pacific Ninebark
fi-so-KAR-pus kap-ih-TAY-tus
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Deciduous shrub, to 5-20 ft (1.5-6 m) tall, less width, open, straggly, angled branches, bark exfoliating in long irregular strips.  Leaves alternate, simple, 3-10 cm long, palmately 3-5 lobed and veined, lobes pointed, margins doubly serrated, glabrous and somewhat shiny above, stellate-pubescent below; petioles 2-4 cm long.  Flowers in late spring, small, 5 white petals, about 30 stamens, 3-5 pistils, in dense, hemispherical clusters (corymbs).  Fruit small, inflated follicle, reddish to brown, about 6 mm long.
  • Sun to shade, best in acid soil, requires some watering.  Propagates easily from cuttings.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5   Native to from British Columbia south to central California and east to western Montana.  Common along stream banks, lake margins, swampy areas and in moist woods.
  • capitatus: forming a dense head, the fruit cluster
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: in native plants area south of Peavy Hall.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, small plant

    plant habit, small plant

  • young leaves

    young leaves

  • leaves and flower (bud) clusters

    leaves and flower (bud) clusters

  • opening flowers

    opening flowers

  • flower and fruit cluster

    flower and fruit cluster

  • fruit cluster and fruit

    fruit cluster and fruit

  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • foliage


  • leaf


  • fruit cluster and leaves

    fruit cluster and leaves

  • leaves, late summer

    leaves, late summer

  • fruit cluster, late summer

    fruit cluster, late summer

  • in habitat, fall

    in habitat, fall

  • leaf, fall

    leaf, fall