Aralia elata

A small group of elegant, late flowering trees and small shrubs with an open airy habit. Most species enjoy a shaded aspect.

Family: Araliaceae
Botanical Name: Aralia
Common Names: Angelica tree, Chinese angelica, Japanese angelica, spikenard

Foliage: Deciduous, large, bipinnate/compound leaves, up to 4ft (1.2m) long, arranged in tiers. Good autumn colour.

Blossom: Long panicles of tiny, cream or greenish-white flowers, often followed by small, black fruits.

Flowering Period: Late Summer, Autumn.

Soil: Moist but well-drained soil (chalk, clay, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.

Conditions: Grows best in partial shade. Site in a west or east facing aspect, in a sheltered location.

Habit: Open, bushy.

Type: Large shrub or small tree.

Origin: East Asia.

Hardiness: Most varieties are reasonably hardy in the UK, surviving temperatures down to -15°C.

Planting and Growing Aralia

Plant in moderately fertile, well-drained moisture retentive soil, in partial shade. Shelter from strong winds.

With its fine architectural interest, Aralias provide a bold statement as a specimen plant or as a feature in a mixed border. Variegated forms look particularly good against a darker background.

Taking Care of Aralia

These plants are known to produce suckers, which should be removed to retain shape and structure.

Pruning Aralia

No pruning is not necessary except to remove dead or damaged branches.

Pests and Diseases

Susceptible to attack by aphids, thrips and red spider mite.

Propagating Aralia

Take root cuttings or pot up rooted suckers. Alternatively, sow seed when ripe.

Popular Varieties of Aralia

Aralia chinensis is a small tree or large shrub with large, doubly divided, glossy leaves. Eventual height to 16ft (5m).

Aralia cordata is a clump-forming herbaceous perennial or shrub with large, compound leaves. Tiny white flowers are borne on tall spikes in late summer, followed by dark berries in autumn. Height to 4ft (1.2m).

Aralia elata is the most commonly available species, forming a small tree reaching around 13ft (4m) on maturity. Two good variegated forms include: 'Aureovariegata' with golden yellow leaf margins and 'Variegata' with creamy white markings.