American Bladdernut

mdahms1979April 2, 2013

Is anyone growing American Bladdernut as an ornamental? I am considering adding one to a shady area of my garden. The garden faces South but is shaded by a large hybrid Locust tree.
I have seen this shrub growing naturally and I loved it's rather dramatic vase shape. Although I was expecting to find this shrub in a lowland area near water I actually found it at the top of a ridge high above a river course.

I have yet to be able to go see the plants in bloom but from photos on the internet it appears that the flowers are not very conspicuous. Still I find the flowers of enough interest, plus the inflated seed pods are unusual.

I would love to hear anyones experience of growing this as a garden shrub.


Here is a link that might be useful: Bladdernut

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

My father has one in a small front garden in Southern England. Doesn't seem to mind a bit of shade and has never required any special care.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 12:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5


you win todays gold star for coming up with a name i never heard before.. lol ... and what a name it is ...


    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 1:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the replies. I have seen such a range of flower photos on the web that I am still a little hesitant to add this shrub. I am sure that if there were some breeding done with this species, to improve the flower size/numbers, it could become an interesting addition to the garden.
The problem lies in that I only have access to some seed grown nursery stock. I will have to go evaluate the flowering of the wild shrubs come spring. I have a feeling that they will not flower heavily in the dry upland site that they are growing on. Hopefully with better conditions in the garden the nursery grown plants will perform well.

Here is a better photo of a blooming plant, from an online blog. The plants I saw were interesting in that the base was a tight cluster of stems about 1.5 feet across and this spread out in a very graceful vase shape to about 5-6 feet across at the top.


Here is a link that might be useful: Bladdernut Flowers

    Bookmark   April 2, 2013 at 2:02PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Here is my Staphylea trifolia. It started out as just a single stemmed shrub and i let it do whatever it wanted. Notice all the blatters on the ground. This particular "colony" maxes out at about 12' tall. Carefree, no pests or diseases, I think it is best in a natural area where it can spread, this one is in full sun but that is not essential.
The striped nature of the bark is a juvenile trait which is lost as the shrub ages.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 1:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sam thank you for the photo. The plants I saw must have been much younger as they were nowhere near that size and they still have the striped bark. It's good to know their potential spread as well.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 11:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

The seed pods are certainly cool looking. It does grow well in shade from the multiple specimens I've seen.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 3:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jimbobfeeny(5a IN)

They grow naturally in moist, shady areas - Especially along woodland streams. They like a soil that is fairly rich and neutral in PH. I'd imagine they'd do alright in a drier situation, as long as they're watered during drought - Their somewhat aggressive spread would be less in dry shade.

I've planted some of these - Tiny seedlings, don't know how they'll do.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 7:43PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Illicium simonsii - anyone have experience with it?
I just came across Illicium simonsii at a local nursery...
Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA
Hakuro Nishiki willow, planting near house?
Hi all, I live in Seattle and recently bought a house...
Need thorny suggestions
I'm looking for thorny/annoying plants to put under...
Mary Townsend
Mixing Lilacs
I have a large section of yard that is filled with...
Wax Myrtle leaves browning & spotting
I've got several wax myrtles in my back yard. A few...
Sponsored Products
March Wall Clock by David Scherer
$162.95 | Bellacor
Safavieh Runner Rug: Chelsea Burgundy 2.5' x 10'
Home Depot
A19 Lighting | Realm Mini Pendant Light
$329.99 | YLighting
American Made Rayne Safari Silver 19 x 58 Slender Body Mirror
All American Twin 3-Piece Comforter Set
Safavieh Area Rug: Chelsea Ivory 1.67' x 2.5'
$28.97 | Home Depot
Academy Chrome Three-Light Wall Mounted Bath Fixture with Satin White Schoolhous
$124.00 | Bellacor
American Drew Antigua 6 Piece Leg Table Dining Room Set in Toasted Almond
Beyond Stores
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™