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Aralia elata

Aralia elata
Fourth-year sapling
Japanese angelica tree
Thorny trunk
Aralia elata
Starting to show its habit and form as a sixth-year tree

Common name Japanese angelica tree
Family araliaceae
Life cycle tree (Z3-8)
Flowers white (summer)
Size 20-40'
Light sun-part shade
Cultural notes prefers moist soil

More elegant in form than most other aralias, it still features the thorns common to many species. Only one of several seedlings survived its first year in our garden; after living in our orchard nursery area for two years, it finally got a more permanent garden location on the berm at the back of our yard. It's amazing how quickly the winter form (just upright unbranched stems) transforms into a lush tree with handsome foliage, once warm weather arrives in spring.

Japanese angelica tree
After a good number of years, plumes of creamy-white flowers started appearing atop the tree.
Aralia elata
Just gangly upright sticks in winter and early spring
Japanese angelica tree
The dense foliage and thorns make for a fine bird's nest location
Aralia elata
Late October – nearly back to its stick state

We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '06 trade. a) baggy 35F (12w) - 70F (9w; no G).
    b) baggy 70F (4w) -35F (13w) - 70F (12%G, 11-17d)

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