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Japanese Bladdernut*

Staphylea bumalda

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Japanese Bladdernut (Staphylea bumalda) at Alsip Home and Nursery

Japanese Bladdernut flowers

Japanese Bladdernut flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Japanese Bladdernut (Staphylea bumalda) at Alsip Home and Nursery

Japanese Bladdernut in bloom

Japanese Bladdernut in bloom

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  7 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4


An interesting shrub with lovely nodding white flowers in spring and unique bladder-like fruit in the fall, coveted for dried floral arrangements; self-seeds freely under the right circumstances and may become a problem

Ornamental Features

Japanese Bladdernut has nodding white bell-shaped flowers hanging below the branches from early to late spring. It has dark green deciduous foliage which emerges lime green in spring. The oval compound leaves turn lemon yellow in fall. It produces light green capsules in early fall. The smooth grayish green bark and light green branches are extremely showy and add significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes

Japanese Bladdernut is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a mounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

This is a high maintenance shrub that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Self-Seeding

Japanese Bladdernut is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • General Garden Use
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Japanese Bladdernut will grow to be about 7 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It has a low canopy, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub does best in partial shade to shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America.

Japanese Bladdernut makes a fine choice for the outdoor landscape, but it is also well-suited for use in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its height, it is often used as a 'thriller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination; plant it near the center of the pot, surrounded by smaller plants and those that spill over the edges. It is even sizeable enough that it can be grown alone in a suitable container. Note that when grown in a container, it may not perform exactly as indicated on the tag - this is to be expected. Also note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.


* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Garden  Container 
Flowers  Fruit  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features