From the Greek phusa or physa, “bladder, a pair of bellows” and karpos, “fruit,” thus “bladdery fruit”
With leaves like the guelder-rose opulus which was actually a type of maple
Intermediate, indicating an observation that a species was probably considered as being halfway or partway between two others with regard to some particular characteristic, e.g. tall, short, and “intermediate”
Atlantic ninebark is native to eastern North America and the prairie states. The plants are found on moist soils in thickets,
along streams in sand or gravel bars, and on rocky slopes and bluffs. Michael Dirr (1997) says that “the species is adaptable to all conditions, probably even nuclear attacks, and once established, requires a bulldozer for removal.”
Plants: This shrub has multiple stems resembling
grapevines, with peeling bark that is brown when young and turns gray with age. The bark peels in
strips, and is the source of the common name ninebark: the apparently inexhaustible supply of bark
suggests the plant has “nine lives.” They are 24-84" (60-213 cm)
high, with stems up to 1" (2.5 cm) around.
Leaves: Simple and alternate, 1½-5" (3.8-12 cm) ×
1-3" (2.5-7.6 cm).
Leaves are usually 3-lobed, sometimes 5, linear to narrowly ovate to obovate, dark green above, lighter below.
Flowers: Flowers form round or dome-shaped clusters ¾-2" (1.9-5.7 cm) around at branch tips, with flowers
⅜-⁷/₁₆" (1-1.2 cm) around and 5 round white or pink petals, and 30-40 stamens.
They appear primarily in Jun, with fruiting Jul-Sep. (Accounts vary on flowering and fruiting, with
some sources listing May-Jul for both flowering and fruiting.)