Staphylea trifolia L.
Staphyleaceae (Bladdernut Family)
USDA Symbol: STTR
American bladdernut is a large, suckering, deciduous shrub or small tree, 8-15 ft. tall. Landscape attributes include: drooping clusters of cream, bell-shaped flowers; attractive, dark-green, trifoliate leaves; greenish bark textured with white cracks; and interesting fruit. The fruit, which changes from green to yellow to brown, is a three-chambered bladder.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Complexity: Trifoliate
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 15 feet tall.
Autumn Foliage: yes
Fruit: Reddish brown
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Native Distribution: Que. to MN, s. to FL, AR, e. OK & e. KS; generally absent from the Appalacians
Native Habitat: Moist, deep woods; thickets; floodplain woods
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained sandy or silty loams.
Conditions Comments: Bladdernut is insect and disease resistant. It tolerates a wide variety of soils.
PropagationDescription: Softwood and hardwood cuttings root easily. Can also be grown from seed.
Seed Collection: Do not allow seeds to dry out before stratification.
Seed Treatment: Seeds apparently posses a double dormancy. Three months warm followed by three months at 40 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
Mr. Smarty Plants says
Michigan native plants for shady, low traffic area
May 10, 2006
Hello, I am looking for a recommendation for a Michigan native groundcover. I live adjacent to the Rouge River watershed and want to buy the right thing. The location is shady, infrequently walked ...
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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:
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
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Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America - beta site (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Staphylea trifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Staphylea trifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Staphylea trifolia
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-11
Research By: TWC Staff