Aralia are a group of evergreen or deciduous shrubs. And one species is just not like the next, a few are garden worthy, however others are suckering, spiny pests. So choose your Arailia variety carefully.
Aralia elata is a well known form and is known as the 'Japanese angelica tree'. Grown for the foliage, an excellent bright green, this is a small deciduous tree that will reach around, 4 - 5 m in height depending on conditions, taller in some areas. Large doubly pinate leaves and white flowers in spring it has been grown in the UK for nearly 200 years.
Look for Aralia elata 'aurevariegata' mid green and buttery yellow foliage, great color in the border. Also goes under the name of 'Golden Umbrella' and the silver variegated form is 'Silver Umbrella'.
It is Aralia cordata 'Sun King' that is so useful in a woodland garden, this shade loving species with its delightful lime green foliage gives a lift to border, it does need a few hours sun each day, so plant it where it gets good light. This is a perennial plant in the UK, it dies back as soon as the frosts hit.
Aralia balfouriana is different again, mainly used as an indoor or house plant. Leaves are rounded, some varieties with variegation.
Aralia spinosa is a larger growing tree to 10m in height, also known as the 'Devils Walking Stick' and 'Prickly Ash'
Aralia racemosa is from North America, not widely grown.
You can find Aralia varieties for sale at the following nurseries.
CRÛG FARM PLANTS - Telephone: (+44) 01248 670232
Bleddyn & Sue Wynn-Jones,
Griffiths Crossing, Caernarfon, GWYNEDD, LL55 1TU
Specialised in introducing new plants into cultivation, from seeds collected on world-wide expeditions. Includes shade plants, climbers, species Hydrangea, Araliaceae, rare trees & shrubs, Convallariaceae, herbaceous & bulbous.
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