November poem
Two great new annuals

Two fine Physocarpus (Ninebarks to American readers)

Physocarpus Coppertina ('Mindia') and Summer Wine ('Seward'). Image:© Physocarpus is not a plant that often features on gardeners’ lists of favorite shrubs, on either side of the Atlantic, but the recent arrival of Summer Wine here in the US and the appearance of Lady in Red at London’s Chelsea Flower Show a couple of years back seem to have woken people up to what great shrubs they are – for foliage, flowers and sometimes fruits too.

Here in Pennsylvania we just grow the two in the picture (click to enlarge) – Coppertina, on the left, and Summer Wine. I hope we’ll be adding more. The leaves were picked just a couple of days ago. Coppertina has been a perfect background for Athyrium otophorum with its upright silvery green leaves and red stems while right now the old pink and white single Chrysanthemum ‘Country Girl’ is lovely in front of Summer Wine.

But let’s just clear up the names, for they’re a little confusing as both have been given marketing names (technically called Trade Designations) as well as their cultivar names.Physocarpus Summer Wine ('Seward'). Photo courtesy of Proven Winners -

The cultivar name of Coppertina - which, just to confuse matters, is known as Diable d’Or in Europe – is ‘Mindia’ so its correct full name is, in the USA, Physocarpus opulifolius Coppertina (‘Mindia’) while in Europe it’s Physocarpus opulifolius Diable d’Or (‘Mindia’). (Yes, the Trade Designation has to be in a different typeface, too!) Of course here in the US where the species is a widespread native known as Ninebark it’s often just called Coppertina Ninebark.

Either way, it’s a hybrid between ‘Dart’s Gold’ and Diablo (‘Monlo’) rasied in France.

Summer Wine (‘Seward’) is a hybrid between the rarely seen Nana’ and Diablo (‘Monlo’) created by Tim Wood of Spring Meadow Nursery (no retail sales), who’s raised and introduced so many good shrubs, from a cross made in 2000.

Physocarpus Coppertina ('Mindia'). Photo courtesy of Proven Winners - And why is it called Ninebark? Well, over at Consider the Lilies where there are some superb pictures of the wild species, Harold Hanson says: “The derivation of the common name is interesting: As it matures Ninebark bark continually splits, leaving ragged pieces hanging from the branches as if it is continuing to reveal new bark—perhaps "nine" times—thus the common name, Ninebark.”

In Britain you can buy Physocarpus Diable d’Or from these RHS PlantFinder nurseries. And you can buy Physocarpus Summer Wine from these RHS PlantFinder nurseries.

In North America Rare Find Nursery list both Coppertina and Summer Wine as well as two new introductions 'Barberone' and 'Center Glow'.