Aralia spinosa

Aralia spinosa
Aralia spinosa 
devil's walking stick
SIZE/TYPE taller shrub
LEAVES deciduous broadleaf
BLOOMING TIME August - August
LOCATION full to partial sun
SOIL TYPE any (acidic to alkaline)
SOIL MOISTURE REQUIREMENTS evenly moist (dislikes drought)
USDA zone (lowest) 4   (down to -34°C)
FOR ZONE 5+6 Code of winter protection zone 5+6
FOR ZONE 7 Code of winter protection zone 7
BELONGS TO CATEGORIES Deciduous broadleaf
Summer blooms
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If you are looking for an architectural plant that will attract passers-by’s eyes but will require zero maintenance at the same time, and on top of that will be hardy enough not to worry about it in winter, have a look at this devil’s walking stick. Wondering why such a beauty is called a name like that? Keep reading, we will soon tell you and we will also assure you that this plants is a must have for those who love exotic appeal in their gardens.

Just one simple look at the trunk and short lateral twigs is a perfect give away to understand why it received the name devil’s walking stick. The stem (trunk) as well as the branches and the leaves, too, are covered with both small and larger spines and prickles that no intruder will ever want to break in your garden from the side where aralia is planted. Believe it or not this plant used to be grown as a hedge supposed to discourage unwanted animals from visiting cultivated areas.

However, as an ornamental plant it makes almost no danger in the season when the plant is covered with up to 150 cm long, compound, bi-pinnate leaves, which give this plant an extraordinary, very architectural look. They are mid green in summer, turning yellow, orange, red and purple in autumn. Small, white flowers are born in about 30x30 cm large terminal panicles in late summer and are followed by red-purple or almost black fruits, so loved by the birds.

This gorgeous thing deserves to be planted more often, especially in tropical and unusually looking landscapes, or just in places where you do not have much space to play with because this aralia will stand in its glory on its own without a need for a companion. The plant typically grows as one stem from the ground, producing suckers around the main stem rather quickly. forming a dense bush.

Grow it in almost any soil type, alkaline or acidic (while acidic will enhance autumn colours), but always well-drained. It likes equally moist soil throughout the season but will take drought once established. On the contrary it may lose leaves in long periods of rain if grown in water-logged soil. Aralia virtually thrives on neglect. It requires no maintenance. Pest and disease free. Fully hardy to min. -34°C, possibly more.

Last update 20-02-2010

Aralia elata
  • STANDARD QUALITY - Plants of this group are 1st class quality with number of branches and overall density adequate to their size and age, considering they were container grown.
  • DE LUXE QUALITY - This label guarantees a luxurious quality of manually selected plants that, compared to their height and age, are exceptionally dense and beautiful.
  • EXTRA - These plants are usually mature and bigger specimens with exceptional overall appearance.
  • STANDARD (as described in the plant form) means a tree with a trunk of 190-210 cm and a crown at the top, unless specified differently. The commercial size for trees is their girth measured in the height of 1m from ground.
  • HOBBY - These plants are of the same quality as our standard-quality plants but younger and therefore cheaper.
  • SHRUB - a woody plant with branches growing bushy from the ground level.
  • HALF-STANDARD or MINI-STANDARD - a small tree with shorter trunk, its size is usually specified.
  • FEATHERED - These are trees with branches growing already from the base of the trunk and up along the stem.
  • GRASSES and PERENNIALS - Sizes given usually read the diameter of the pot or the clump, as specified.
LARGE PLANTS over 150 cmspecimens, screening and hedging shrubs

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