Common name: Chinese bladdernut
Staphylea holocarpa, a tall, deciduous shrub native to China and Tibet, has an unfortunate common name - Chinese bladdernut. Its seed capsule looks exactly like a bladder. Something we all have but would rather not be reminded of.
You can find Chinese bladdernut in the Fern Dell. It was planted in 1983 and flourishes in full sun or partial shade. Back in 1983 it had those conditions. Today it sits in shade. If you are lucky, you will see a few of its beautiful small flowers hanging from some lower branches. Most of them are growing high up in spots that still get some sun. Chinese bladdernut can reach a height of 8m/25 ft.
Chinese bladdernut was discovered by Augustine Henry in 1886. But it was not introduced into cultivation until E.H. Wilson sent seed to the Arnold Arboretum from western Hupeh in 1908. Not many gardens have this rare shrub.
The photos were taken in late spring in the Fern Dell.
Text and photos by Hughie Jones.