French name: Physocarpus opulifolis Diabolo
Last weekend we treated ourselves to a trip into Limoges. It’s an hour-long journey, but we tend to go at least once a month for a bit of retail therapy and to reassure ourselves that there is actually life here in France. At times I do find the lack of people here in the countryside somewhat unnerving! These trips to Limoges of course always involve a visit to Jardiland, which is without a doubt my favourite shop here in France.
It is impossible for me to go into a Jardiland without buying something, be it a packet of seeds or a plant, but on this trip one shrub in particular caught my eye; Physocarpus Diable D’or.
With its beautiful hawthorn-like white flowers contrasting wonderfully against deep purple leaves, I found it totally irresistible.
I have never come across this plant before so when I got home and looked the shrub up I was delighted to discover that it is in fact extremely hardy. The RHS have given it a H7 rating which means it’s practically indestructible, perfect for withstanding the freezing French winters.
Physocarpus Diable D’or is happy in full sun or partial shade and will grow in any type of ground though it does prefer acidic soil. After flowering the old stems should be pruned back to the ground.
In summer the pink tinged flower buds open to reveal clusters of small white flowers which are adored by bees and butterflies. These flowers are followed by glossy red berries which are devoured by birds. During the autumn months the deep purple leaves gradually turn to red before falling and revealing the characterful peeling stems of older branches.
Beautiful foliage, lovely flowers, attractive to wildlife and extremely hardy what could be more prefect for your French garden? I’m certainly looking forward to watching this shrub change as the seasons progress.