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Due to a fallen tree last Friday we are still without telephones until probably Thursday. If you have any queries please email us. Orders are being despatched as normal. Thank you.

Staphylea - Growing Guide

Growing Staphylea

Commonly known as ‘Bladder-Nuts’

Staphylea are superb bushy (sometimes multi-stemmed) deciduous shrubs that mature eventually into small trees. Species of Bladder-Nut originate from right across the northern hemisphere and are totally hardy. S. pinnata is European; S. colchica is from the Caucasus, S. holocarpa is Chinese, S. trifoliata and S. bolanderi are North American.

Staphylea  coulombieri    click for larger image
Staphylea coulombieri
Staphylea  elegans    click for larger image
Staphylea elegans
Staphylea  holocarpa    click for larger image
Staphylea holocarpa with seeds.

All species have dainty pinnate leaves with three, five or seven leaflets, an upright habit and racemes or terminal panicles of white or white flushed pink in early or mid spring. The flowers are attractive and unusual enough in themselves to merit growing these plants. However, through the summer, the flower panicles develop large green bladders of up to 2in in size sometimes in pairs or trios. These are very noticeable as they form and even more so as they turn pink and red in the autumn. Once the leaf drops they stand proud on the tree for a while although they are well ripe by then.

As children we used to collect these ‘Chinese lanterns’ as we called them and pop them to extract the seeds. If stored over winter these germinate quickly in the spring.  We have a detailed article on how to collect and store seeds if you are interested in learning more.

S. bumalda grows to 3-6ft (more in Cornwall) and has three leaflets.

Staphylea  bumalda click for larger image
Staphylea bumalda
Staphylea  bumalda click for larger image
Staphylea bumalda
Staphylea  bumalda click for larger image
Staphylea bumalda

S. colchica grows to 10-12ft and has three to five leaflets. The bladders are greenish white.

Staphylea  colchicaclick for larger image
Staphylea colchica
Staphylea  colchicaclick for larger image
Staphylea colchica
Staphylea  colchicaclick for larger image
Staphylea colchica

S. holocarpa grows to 20ft or more and three leaflets. The flowers have a pinkish line. The bladders are greenish white turning pink.

Staphylea  holocarpa  click for larger image
Staphylea holocarpa
Staphylea  holocarpa  click for larger image
Staphylea holocarpa
Staphylea  holocarpa  click for larger image
Staphylea holocarpa

S. pinnata grows to 12-15ft with five to seven leaflets and the bladders are pinkish with hints of red.

Staphylea  pinnata   click for larger image
Staphylea pinnata
Staphylea  pinnata   click for larger image
Staphylea pinnata
Staphylea  pinnata   click for larger image
Staphylea pinnata

S. trifoliata grows 10-15ft with three leaflets. The bladders are yellow with more pink in full sun.

Staphylea  trifoliata    click for larger image
Staphylea trifoliata

These excellent shrubs take up little room and are easy to grow in a moist woodland environment in sun or partial shade. It is unfortunate that they are still so little grown or appreciated. Naming them all can cause a bit of fun with experts too!


Plants


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Burncoose Nurseries: Gwennap, Redruth, Cornwall TR16 6BJ
Telephone: +44 (0) 1209 860316 Fax: +44 (0) 1209 860011 Email: info@burncoose.co.uk
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