American bladdernut

The American bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia) is a small understory tree or large shrub that doesn’t seem to be very well known, but is quite common on the edges of the two main north-south trails on the Federal Farm. As its specific epithet (trifolia) suggests, its leaves are three-lobed. It has white or cream-colored bell-shaped flowers in the spring and heart-shaped bladders that contain its seeds and remain on the trees well into winter.