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 Aralia subsp. var.  
Aralia elata
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Araliaceae > Aralia var. ,

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Aralia (Spikenard) is a genus of the plant family Araliaceae, consisting of 68 accepted species of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs, and some rhizomatous herbaceous perennials. The genus is native to Asia and the Americas, with most species occurring in mountain woodlands. The species vary in size, with some herbaceous species only reaching 50 cm tall, while some are trees growing to 20 m tall.

Aralia species have large bipinnate leaves clustered at the ends of branches, sometimes covered with bristles. The flowers are whitish or greenish occurring in terminal panicles, and the spherical dark purple berry-like fruit are popular with birds.

Aralia species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Common Emerald.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Aralia (derivation obscure). Araliaceae. Ornamental herbs, shrubs or trees grown chiefly for their bold foliage.

Stems often spiny : Lvs. alternate, deciduous, pinnate to 3-pinnate: fls. small, whitish, in umbels usually forming panicles; pedicels articulate; calyx-lobes minute; petals imbricate in bud; stamens 5; ovary 5-, rarely 2-celled, with-the styles free or connate only at the base: fr. a berry-like drupe with 2-5 compressed stones.—About 20 species in N. Amer., Asia, Malay Archipelago and Austral.

The aralias are large herbs, shrubs or small trees, often spiny, with large decompound foliage, small whitish flowers in umbels forming large terminal panicles and followed by small usually black berry-like fruits.

The species are hardy or nearly hardy North. They prefer rich or heavy soil. They are often planted as single specimens on the lawn for the bold subtropical effect of their foliage. Propagation is by seeds sown in spring, which do best with slight bottom-heat, or by root-cuttings, also with bottom-heat.

There are also a number of tender shrubby plants cultivated as ornamental greenhouse or stove plants, which have been provisionally referred to the genus Aralia, as their flowers and fruits are not yet known; therefore it haw not been possible to determine their true botanical affinity. In the present work they are referred to other genera. They should be looked for under Polyscias, Pseudopanax, Schefflera, Oreopanax, Panax, Sciadophyllum, Dizygotheca. Other related genera, perhaps not including any horticulturally important forms, are Heptapleurum and Monopanax.

A. japónica, Thunb.-Fatsia japónica.—A. papyrifera, Hook.- Tetrapanax papyriferum.—A. pentaphylla, Thunb.-Acanthopanax pentaphyllum.—A. qùinquefolia, Demo. & Planch.-Panax quinquefolium.—A. Sieboldii, Hort.-Fatsia japónica.—A. trifolio, Decne. & Planch.-Panax trifolium. (See also Ginseng.)

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.



Pests and diseases


The circumscription of Aralia has varied greatly. Species formerly included in a wider circumscription of the genus are now included in Fatsia, Macropanax, Oreopanax, Panax, Polyscias, Pseudopanax, Schefflera, and Tetrapanax, among others.

The genus Dimorphanthus Miq. is now considered a synonym of Aralia but is recognized as a section within that genus.

Aralia spinosa



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