Virginia Tech Dendrology

bladdernut Staphyleaceae Staphylea trifolia L. Listen to the Latin symbol: STTR
Leaf: Opposite, pinnately compound with three (rarely 5) ovate or obovate leaflets that are 2 to 4 inches long. Leaflet margins are serrate.
Flower: Green-white, bell-shaped and small, borne on dangling 2 inch long panicles in spring.
Fruit: A very unique 1 1/2 inch, 3-lobed, papery capsule that looks inflated. The inflated bag contains several hard, small brown seeds, maturing in September.
Twig: Slender, green to brown in color, with a large white pith; buds are brown, 4-scaled, ovoid and may be stalked.
Bark: Green-gray in color with white furrows.
Form: A large shrub or small tree that is heavily branched and suckers readily, forming a thicket.
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Staphylea trifolia is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting bladdernut.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654