Common Ninebark, Physocarpus opulifolius
Rosaceae or Rose Family


Medium-sized shrub with leaves that have three lobes and rounded teeth. The leaves are not opposite each other. Flowers in ball-like clusters, with 5 white petals around a yellow center, and white anthers giving the ball a fuzzy look. Flowers in late spring. Fruits are dry inflated pods, pink to red, in clusters in autumn.

A native shrub of the easter US and Canada. Likes tough habitats, like streamsides, cliffsides, seepages, rocky woods, etc. While native to the Virginia mountains, it is not native to Wildwood; the specimens by the restroom were planted.

The ball-like cluster of flowers with 5 petals is distinctive and helps identification. The leaves resemble maple leaves, but maples have leaves that are opposite each other. Rose-of-Sharon has somewhat similar leaves, but they are angular at the base. Identification clincher is the location next to the restrooms.


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