Plant Guides: Physocarpus Diable D’or

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.

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.

Physocarpus Diable D’or flower

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.

A bientôt
Katherine x

'Plant Guides: Physocarpus Diable D’or' have 4 comments

  1. July 9, 2013 @ 9:01 am Janet Goulden

    Many thanks Katherine, bought this shrub recently at our Pepinieres near Albi. We are always concerned about buying plants/shrubs/trees for our garden as we have temperatures in the winter of -21degrees, so your article was very much appreciated.
    Janet in the Aveyron
    A bientot


    • July 9, 2013 @ 2:24 pm Katherine

      Great to hear you have one too Janet, it has such lovely coloured leaves. Next spring we’ll have to compare how it fairs through the winter!


      • April 10, 2015 @ 2:21 pm Jocelyn

        I’d be surprised if it wasn’t hardy, it’s native to North America, here in Canada they are commonly found in front gardens and public plantings. They are also called ‘Ninebark’ for the peeling stems, they will form a thicket over time, or at least many of the older varieties I have seen do.


  2. March 18, 2014 @ 4:07 pm Moving strawberries and shrubs in spring | jardin-perdu

    […] June I bought a new shrub, Physocarpus Diable D’or, which I planted in the border next to our petite source. As last summer wore on, and my Gunnera […]


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Le Jardin Perdu 2018. All images and posts are the property of Katherine Forshaw

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