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Physocarpus opulifolius Midnight


Dramatic foliage, flowers and fruit

A dark and dramatic shrub of compact habit with upright tan-coloured stems and dark purple, almost black leaves. Clusters of white and pink flowers appear in early summer. These develop into jewel-like red fruits which are at their best in autumn. A great plant for giving contrast in a planting scheme and perfect where a dramatic background is desired. Easy to grow, hardy and versatile.


Plant in full sun for best leaf colour; the leaves turn muddy-brown in shade. Ideal at the back of a border with other shrubs and perennials.


Any moist or well-drained soil. Tolerant of both drought and wet soil conditions. Prune in winter, cutting out some of the old, lighter coloured stems.

Physcocarpus is wonderful to cut for flower arranging from midsummer onwards

Plant details

In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Ornamental shrub
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available April - September
Season of interest Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter
Flowering June - August
Evergreen No
Plant height 150 cm - 200 cm
Plant width 120 cm - 150 cm
Fragrant flowers Yes
Hazardous No
Attracts bees Yes
Attracts butterflies Yes
Plant height in 5 years 175 cm
Medicinal No
Hardiness zone (?) H7

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Clay, Sand, Loam
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained, Moist
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Cottage garden, Informal garden, Flower border and beds

Typically available

From April to September