American bladdernut is a large, native, understory shrub, often forming thickets in undisturbed landscapes. Beautiful clusters of drooping, tubular white flowers appear in early spring, followed by unusual bladder-like seed pods, which are persistent long into the winter months. A great plant for naturalizing or shady woodlands.
This species is native to the Chicago region according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region, with updates made according to current research.
- Family (English) Staphyleaceae
- Family (botanic) Bladdernut
- Tree or plant type Tree, Shrub
- Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Native locale Chicago area, Illinois, North America
- Size range Large shrub (more than 8 feet), Compact tree (10-15 feet)
- Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily), Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
- Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
- Tolerances Alkaline soil, Dry sites, Occasional flooding, Wet sites
- Season of interest early spring, mid spring, midsummer, late summer
- Flower color and fragrance White
- Shape or form Multi-stemmed, Thicket-forming, Upright
- Growth rate Fast, Moderate