Amber Jubillee Flowers

Ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius, is a Missouri native shrub that has largely been recognized for the winter interest provided by its attractive exfoliating bark. On mature plants, the peeling bark reveals colorful inner bark in range of brown and red-brown shades, hence it’s common name.


In spring, small pink and white blooms appear in round, flat clusters that give way to clusters of red fruits/seeds. The native shrub’s foliage is a dark green-purple that turns yellow in the fall. Overall, this easy to grow 5- to 9-foot shrub that will flourish in both sun and partial sun and will tolerate a wide variety of growing conditions. It can be a bit rough and unruly but can be shaped by pruning after it blooms or even cut close to the ground in winter for a fresh start in spring. Fast growing, it may reach its full height in one season.


Fair warning: Ninebark is not immune to deer snacking.


What is really exciting about ninebark is the number of new cultivars with innovations in size, form and color combinations. Shown here are 'Diabolo' and ‘Amber Jubilee’.


‘Diabolo’ features burgundy-purple foliage and white flowers with red seed pods. It can reach to 10 feet with a similar spread with an upright, arching growth habit.


'Amber Jubilee’ features new foliage that glows in shades of orange and gold before turning green. It reaches 5- to 6-feet and has an upright, round shape.


Other notable cultivars, though this is not a definitive list - several additional cultivars are available.


‘Coppertina’ features new leaves that start out orange and turn red as they mature. It has upright, fountain shaped growth and reaches 8- to 10-feet.


'Summer Wine' is similar to ‘Diabolo’ but has a little more compact growth habit, growing 5-6-feet.


'Dart's Gold' features bright golden-yellow foliage and white flowers in early summer with a mature height of five feet. It prefers morning sun and afternoon shade.


'Center Glow' bears purple foliage that has a golden-yellow center when it's young. It grows 8 feet tall and wide. Zones 3-7

Collage of Ninebark cultivars, Amber Jubillee and Diablo


Content by Jan Wiese-Fales. Photos by Jan Wiese-Fales and Chris Starbuck