Bladdernut Staphylea trifolia
Family: Staphylaceae
Branching: Opposite

A distinctive shrub in deciduous understories.  It gets its name from its fruit.  When the fruits are ripe, the seeds inside them rattle when shaken.  Usually there are fruits present, which makes identification simple.  When they are not, its usually paired end buds and dark purplish twigs will set it apart from other shrubs like Cranberry Viburnum and Lilac.

The bladder-like fruit

A closer view of the fruit.

End buds are usually paired for bladdernut.

Lateral bud.

End buds

Young bark

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copyright © 2008 Josh Sayers
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