NINEBARK





(Opulaster opulifolius; Spiraea opulifolia of Gray) Rose

family



Flowers - White or pink, small, in numerous rounded terminal

clusters to 2 in. broad. Calyx 5-lobed; 5 rounded petals inserted

in its throat; 20 to 40 stamens; several pistils. Stem: Shrubby,

3 to 10 ft. high, with long, recurved branches, the loose bark

peeling off annually in thin strips. Leaves: Simple, heart-shaped

or rounded, 3-lobed, toothed. Fruit: 3 to 5 smooth, shining,

reddish, inflated, pointed pods.

Preferred Habitat - Rocky banks, riversides.

Flowering Season - June.

Distribution - Canada to Georgia, west to Kansas.



Whether the nurserymen agree with Dr. Gray or not when he says

these balls of white flowers possess "no beauty," the fact

remains that numbers of the shrubs are sold for ornament,

especially a golden-leaved variety. But the charm certainly lies

in their fruit. (Opulus = a wild cranberry tree.) When this is

plentifully set at the ends of long branches that curve backward,

and the bladder-like pods have taken on a rich purplish or

reddish hue, the shrub is undeniably decorative. Even the old

flowers, after they have had their pollen carried away by the

small bees and flies, show a reddish tint on the ovaries which

deepens as the fruit forms; and Ludwig states that this is not

only to increase the conspicuousness of the shrubs, but to entice

unbidden guests away from the younger flowers. Who will tell us

why the old bark should loosen every year and the thin layers

separate into not nine, but dozens of ragged strips?





NEW JERSEY TEA WILD SNOWBALL REDROOT OBEDIENT PLANT FALSE DRAGONHEAD LION'S HEART facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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