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American Bladdernut

Posted by mikedahms London Ontario Z6 (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 2, 13 at 10:13

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

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: American Bladdernut

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.

RE: American Bladdernut


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


RE: American Bladdernut

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

RE: American Bladdernut

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.
 photo 04-04-13001.jpg

RE: American Bladdernut

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.


RE: American Bladdernut

  • Posted by whaas 5a SE WI (NW) (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 5, 13 at 15:12

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

RE: American Bladdernut

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.

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