Physocarpus opulifolius 'Seward' SUMMER WINE

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 5 Professionals
Common Name: ninebark
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Pinkish-white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Drought, Erosion, Clay Soil, Dry Soil, Shallow-Rocky Soil


Easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun in the northern part or its growing range, but appreciates some afternoon shade in the St. Louis area. Tolerates a wide range of soil conditions. Prune as needed immediately after bloom. SUMMER WINE is less apt to spread by suckering than the species. Plants may be cut close to the ground in winter to rejuvenate.

Noteworthy Characteristics

SUMMER WINE is a ninebark cultivar that is noted for its deeply cut, wine-red foliage and its dense, free-branching, mounded growth habit. It is the result of a cross between P. opulifolius ‘Nanus’ (seed parent) and P. opulifolius ‘Diabolo’ (pollen parent). It typically grows 4-6’ tall and as wide, but, unlike the species, is noted for retaining compact form. Small pinkish-white, five-petaled flowers in dense, flat, rounded, 1-2” diameter, spiraea-like clusters (corymbs) appear in late spring. Ovate to rounded, usually 3-5 lobed leaves (to 4” long) are wine red. Foliage color tends to green up in hot summer climates as the summer progresses. Ninebark is named for its exfoliating bark (on mature branches) which peels in strips to reveal several layers of reddish to light brown inner bark. Bark provides winter interest but is usually hidden by the foliage during the growing season. U.S. Plant Patent PP14,821 issued May 25, 2004.


No serious insect or disease problems. Fireblight and leaf spots may occur. Reportedly has good resistance to powdery mildew.

Garden Uses

Specimen or mass. Shrub borders, hedge, screen or for erosion control on banks. A vigorous shrub that seems to be able to grow well in harsh conditions.