Physocarpus opulifolius 'Monlo'
Physocarpus Diablo 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.
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Physocarpus Diablo 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 of Physocarpus Diablo:
Physocarpus Diablo was discovered in June, 1986 in Ellerbek, Kchleswig-Holstein, near Hamburg, Germany by Kordes Gunter and Hans Schadendorf. Among a field of 120,000 other seedlings, this particular plant was noted for its remarkable red foliage in contrast to the large field planting of all typically green foliaged plants. The new plant was reproduced by cuttings at Kordes Jungpflanzen in Germany and subsequently at Monrovia Nursery in Azusa California. 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.