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.
From the Image Gallery
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 ...
view the full question and answer
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.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (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