Physocarpus opulifolius Dart's Gold (or Ninebark Dart’s Gold) is a versatile and showy shrub which can play a key role in your garden throughout the year. It has the Award of Garden Merit from the RHS as recognition of its value to UK gardeners.
Native to eastern North America, the Ninebark gets its common name from the way that the bark peels back in layers, showing several different shades from reddish to light brown inner bark. This provides winter interest in the garden, but the cultivar Physocarpus opulifolius Dart's Gold is most notable for its foliage. The 3-lobed leaves start out yellow when they emerge in the spring, turn to bright lime-green in summer, and then finally become yellow with bronze tints in the autumn. In late spring, the shrub produces small white flowers attractive to butterflies, which later turn to small brownish-red fruits which attract birds to the autumn and winter garden.
Physocarpus opulifolius Dart's Gold is hardy to H7 meaning it will grow in even the most severe of European climates. Physocarpus opulifolius Dart's Gold will grow to a height and spread of 1.5 to 2.5 metres over 5-10 years. Plant 1.2 – 1.8 metres apart. It can be lightly pruned by removing dead stems and opening up the plant to keep it from getting overgrown, and flowers can be trimmed after they have finished blooming. However, if grown in a mass planting, no pruning is necessary.
In its native surroundings, the Ninebark grows in a variety of challenging conditions, so Physocarpus opulifolius Dart's Gold is a tough and versatile shrub in your garden. It does not require a sheltered location, and will thrive in any exposure. It prefers an acid or neutral soil, but will tolerate an alkaline ph. It does best in clay, sand or loam soils, moist but well-drained. It should be planted in full sun or partial shade.
Physocarpus opulifolius Dart's Gold is often grown in mass plantings. It makes an effective hedging shrub, with its brilliant summer colour adding a strong note in the landscape. Because of its size and density, it also makes a good screening hedge to create privacy. Mass plantings can also be used for erosion control on slopes. In a mixed border, an accent plant can create an effective background for a variety of flowers.
Physocarpus opulifolius Dart's Gold will bring a jolt of brilliant colour to your landscape in summer and visual interest year-round, with little maintenance for years to come! See also Physocarpus Opulifolius Diabolo.