Physocarpus capitatus (Pursh) Kuntze
Rosaceae (Rose Family)
Synonym(s): Physocarpus opulifolius var. tomentellus
USDA Symbol: PHCA11
Pacific ninebark is a 3-8 ft., or taller, vase-shaped, deciduous shrub with exfoliating bark and foliage resembling small grape or currant leaves. Tiny, white flowers occur in 3-5 in. wide clusters. Fall foliage ranges from intense red to subtle rose-brown.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Aggregate , Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 20 feet tall, often much shorter.
Fruit: Aggregated follicles.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AK , CA , ID , OR , WA
Native Distribution: AK to CA & ID
Native Habitat: Moist banks & north slopes below 4500 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Moist to drier soils.
Conditions Comments: Can become drought tolerant.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Easy to start from semi-hardwood cuttings with or without hormone treatment. Slow to start from fall-sown seed.
Seed Collection: Ripe fruits can be picked from the shrub or shaken onto a drop cloth.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Web ReferenceWebref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 37 - Calscape (2019) California Native Plant Society
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Physocarpus capitatus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Physocarpus capitatus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Physocarpus capitatus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-20
Research By: TWC Staff