Aralia elata fruits photograph by Wendy Cutler.
Note: In many parts of the USA, especially in the Northeastern states, Aralia elata is classified as an invasive species and idealy not grown by gardeners in those areas.
If you live in an area where this plant is considered invasive, then it is recommended that you grow 'Devil's Walking Stick' (Aralia spinosa) as an alternative.
This plant is commonly known as the Korean or Japanese Angelica tree. It is a large upright deciduous bush that in tree form can reach close to 10 metres in height.
As the name suggests it is naturally native to Japan. It carries a black fruit in the fall and does best when it is grown in a sheltered environment as it loves partial shade.
Ideally the soil should be deep and loamy. Despite these preferences the plant is not overly delicate and can also tolerate sunny areas with a poorer soil.
The shoots of Aralia elata are edible; they are typically harvested in early spring when they are young and then blanched.
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