Physocarpus opulifolius 'Mindia' PP# 16,371
A new cross between Dart's Gold and Diablo that flushes an attractive copper in spring and transforms to a rich red in summer. Soft pink flowers line the gently arching branches in early summer. This durable, cold-hardy plant does well in exposed sites. It was selected as the 2011 Cut Flower of the Year by the ASCFG.
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Coppertina Physocarpus is a purple-leaved ninebark cultivar. Like the species, it is an upright, spreading, somewhat coarse, deciduous shrub which is closely related to genus Spiraea. It typically grows 4-8' (less frequently to 10') tall. Small pinkish-white, five-petaled flowers in dense, flat, rounded, 1-2" diameter, spirea-like clusters (corymbs) appear in late spring. Flowers give way to drooping clusters of reddish fruit (inflated seed capsules). Ovate to rounded, usually 3-5 lobed leaves (to 4" long) are dark purple. Purple foliage tends to green up in hot summer climates as the summer progresses. The species is native to Missouri. Ninebark is named for its exfoliating bark (on mature branches) which peels in strips to reveal several layers of reddish to light brown inner bark. Bark provides winter interest but is usually hidden by the foliage during the growing season.
History and introduction:
The common name of Ninebark comes from the appearance of the bark which is peels away in layers. The inner bark was brewed into a pain reliever and remedy for many other maladies by Native American tribes within this plant's range. Roots were sometimes steam cooked and eaten and plants were used as charms to cause bad luck.