Aralia chinensis, the Chinese Angelica Tree, is endemic to China and Vietnam and is a fast-growing hardy deciduous medium-sized tree or large shrub. It has very attractive and rather exotic-looking large bipinnate compound leaves which when mature can be over a metre in length and white flowers borne on a long inflorescence. The clusters of small blackish-purple blue fruits that follow in autumn are themselves attractive and radiate out from the elongated central axis in a spectacular manner.
Aralia chinensis is very quick-growing and can rapidly grow to some size, often suckering from the base to form new growth. In autumn it loses all its leaves to reveal the sharp spines on its stems. Because of this deciduous and spiny habit it is often best sited towards the rear of a planting amongst evergreens so its denuded spiky stems don't look lost and lonely during the winter. Although completely hardy, its young growth is frost-tender so it will benefit - particularly in its first years - from the close proximity of other sheltering plants. In cultivation it is very easy to grow but the one thing it doesn't like is to be over-watered.
|Synonyms||Aralia chinensis var. intermedia, Aralia sinensis, Leea spinosa,|
|Geographical Origin||China and Vietnam|
|Cultivation||Sun or partial shade. Well-drained soil|
|Hardiness||Fully hardy - to at least -22C. Deciduous, Young growth frost-tender in spring|
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