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Ninebark 'Donna May'

Physocarpus opulifolius

Family: Rosaceae (ro-ZAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Physocarpus (fy-so-KAR-pus) (Info)
Species: opulifolius (op-yoo-lih-FOH-lee-us) (Info)
Cultivar: Donna May
Additional cultivar information:(PP22634, aka Little Devil)
Hybridized by Zlesak
Registered or introduced: 2010



Foliage Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

24-36 in. (60-90 cm)

36-48 in. (90-120 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Peoria, Illinois

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Ludington, Michigan

Eugene, Oregon

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jan 23, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

After two seasons, the foliage remains very dark and habit remains very compact even in partial sun.

This cultivar won the 2011 American Nursery Landscape Association's Garden Idol Award as the best new plant of the year.

"Little Devil" is the proprietary trade name. 'Donna May' is the cultivar name.

Bred by David Zlesak of the U. of Wisconsin.

US PP # 22,634 4/2012.


On Jun 9, 2011, braun06 from Peoria Heights, IL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Ripped out my Coppertina because it grew too fast to keep pruned for the space I had it in and replaced it with this guy. It went in the ground and took off growing in the few months I've had it so far. The flowers are smaller just like the leaves which make it a very refined plant. Only one leaf has had powdery mildew issues in our humid, wet and hot spring this year.

Fruit capsules turn red and the plant finishes with red leaf color at season end. The most usable form of ninebark yet. It is easy to keep trimmed to a mound shape for those who like sheared plants, better than larger ninebarks. If left untouched should reach 3-4' tall and wide. The bark still peels like the species it isn't overly noticable with fine stems. Ninebarks have been resistant to rabbits i... read more