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The Northern Hemisphere"s Bladdernut

Bladdernut is a genus of plants that consists of ten or eleven species of plants that all belong to the Staphyleaceae family.
These flowering plants first came from the temperate parts of the Northern Hemisphere.
China has the highest species diversity of this plant, with four of the species occurring there.
Bladdernut plants are usually found in deciduous woodlands along side trees like Silver Maple, Sycamore, American Basswood, Sugar Maple and River Birch.
This shrub is often cultivated due to the attractive flowers, interesting leaves and seed capsules it gives.
Appearance These shrubs are quite large and occasionally grow into small trees.
They can be between two and five meters tall.
The leaves are deciduous and are arranged in opposite pairs.
They are pinnate with three leaflets.
This shrub branches irregularly and quite sparingly, particularly in shady areas.
The trunks and larger branches have a bark that is slightly rough-textured and is mostly grey in colour.
Smaller barks have a striped look to them because the smooth bark has longitudinal streaks of light grey and black.
Younger twigs are smooth and have a reddish brown colour.
Flowers and fruits The flowers are made in terminal, drooping panicles and each panicle will house around five to fifteen flowers.
The individual flowers can be around one centimetre long, and the five sepals and five petals that it is made up of are shorter than this.
The petals tend to be pale pink or white in colour.
The flowers bloom from mid to late spring and this blooming period occurs for two to three weeks.
Each flower, once fertile, is replaced by a three-celled seed capsule.
Immature capsules stay green throughout the summer but become a light brown colour in the fall.
The seeds that re within this capsule can be made to rattle while in them in the fall, and they are smooth and brown-coloured.
The fruit is a papery, inflated two to three-lobed capsule that is three to ten centimetres long, and they each contain a few, small nut-like seeds.
Care Tips When planting these Bladdernut shrubs, keep in mind that they prefer partial sun to light shade, with moist conditions.
You should plant them in a loamy, fertile soil that has lots of organic matter and mulch.
The Bladdernut shrubs develop new shoots and also prepare their flowers sometime during the spring period, so you have to remember that towards the end of winter you need to give the soil around the shrubs a good dose of mature manure or humus or granular slow release fertilizer.
Ideally you should add this to the soil at the foot the shrub.
When spring finally arrives you can switch to using a fertilizer that is rich in potassium and nitrogen.
You can mix this in with the irrigating water every twenty days.
Also during spring, you should carry out a treatment with wide-ranging insecticide and a systemic fungicide.
This is precautionary and is to try and prevent aphids from attacking the plants and to keep it from developing fungal diseases, which are generally promoted by a damp and mild climate.

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