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Physocarpus malvaceus (Mallow ninebark)
Glase, Terry

Physocarpus malvaceus

Physocarpus malvaceus (Greene) Kuntze

Mallow Ninebark, Mallow-leaf Ninebark

Rosaceae (Rose Family)


USDA Symbol: PHMA5

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Mallow-leaf Ninebark is a 1 1/2-6 ft., vase-shaped, deciduous shrub with exfoliating bark and foliage resembling small grape or currant leaves. Tiny white flowers occur in loose, rounded clusters. Fall foliage ranges from intense red to subtle rose-brown.

Mallow Ninebark is a member of the rose family (family Rosaceae) which includes herbs, shrubs, and trees with mostly prickly stems.


From the Image Gallery

4 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Aggregate , Follicle
Size Notes: Up to about 6 feet tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Aggregated follicles.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


USA: CO , ID , MT , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY
Canada: BC
Native Distribution: E. of the Cascades from s.c. B.C. to c. OR, e. to s.w. Alt., WY & UT
Native Habitat: Dry canyon bottoms, rocky hillsides & yellow pine/Douglas fir forests

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Drier, rocky soils.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: 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.
Seed Treatment: Seeds require no special treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Physocarpus malvaceus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Physocarpus malvaceus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Physocarpus malvaceus


Record Modified: 2023-02-23
Research By: TWC Staff

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