This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, May 19, 2011
What's the deal with bladdernut?
Around here bladdernut grows naturally along the Huron River and smaller streams. In my mind I group it, leatherwood and spicebush together as three rarely utilized native shrubs that thrive in wetter sites. The latter two I grow in my sandy upland garden. I also grew a rare Chinese species of bladdernut for a number of years. It had even more attractive flowers and an upright tree-like form, but grew too tall for its space. Old gardening books list six species in cultivation, but apparently they never took hold in the popular imagination since where are they now?
Bladdernut can be recognized by its trifoliate oppositely-arranged leaves on long petioles, by its unique bladder-like fruit in the fall, and by a stem pattern/color that I won't try to describe but is quite recognizable.