Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spikenards, Angelica Trees & Devils Walkingstick

Aralia

A genus of 40 species of trees, shrubs and perennials from Southeast Asia and the Americas. Almost all of them have large compound leaves and most are deciduous.
Most have cream flowers in panicles which are followed by small black berries.
The flowers clusters should be removed on young plants to increase vigor.
Most prefer hot humid summers and fertile, deep soils on sites that are somewhat sheltered from excessive wind. They grow in sun or shade but flowers and fruit better in sun. Very easy to grow; they are virtually immune to pests and disease.
Propagation is from root cuttings, basal suckers and seed which on some species needs cold stratification. Scarifying seed with acid also improves germination.

* photo taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario


Aralia cachemirica ( Kashmir Aralia )
Also called Himalayan Aralia. A massive perennial plant reaching up to 10 x 8 feet that is native from Kashmir to Nepal
The huge, bipinnate leaves, up to 4 feet in length, are composed of up to 27 leaflets up to 6.5 inches in length.
The foliage is bronze in the spring before turning to green then turns to bright scarlet in autumn
The greenish-white flowers are borne on large clusters, up to 3 feet in length, during summer.
They are followed by a spectacular purple berry display.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 in partial shade ( tolerates sun in cool climates ) on moist, fertile soil. It is drought tolerant but does not like transplanting or root disturbance once established.

* historical archive photo


Aralia californica ( California Spikenard )
A massive perennial plant reaching up to 10 x 8 feet that is native to cool, moist forests and riverbanks of the west coast of the U.S. from Oregon to central California. The stems are very thick but not woody
The bipinnate leaves are huge, up to 6.6 x 3.3 feet and composed of up to 15 large leaflets up to 12 x 6 inches. The foliage often turns deep yellow during autumn while the leafstalks and stems turn red.
The white flowers are borne on large clusters, up to 12 inches wide, during summer.
They are followed by deep purple berries during autumn.
Hardy north to zone 4 in shade only. Tolerates winter floods, dusty dry summers and deep shade.
An extremely rare yellow variegated form exists.

* photo of unknown internet source


Aralia chinensis ( Chinese Angelica Tree )
A small tree native to northeast Asia that can reach up to 25 feet though sometimes larger with the record being 34 x 30 feet. It suckers freely and can form a clump if these are not removed. Some records include: 7 years - 13 feet.
The leaves are double pinnate and up to 6 x 2 feet in size. The ovate leaflets are deep green and up to 6 inches in length. The foliage turns to yellow in autumn.
The leaves are similar to that of Aralia elate except the leaflets are shorter stalked.
The small creamy white flowers are borne in huge panicles, up to 24 inches in late summer to early fall.
The Chinese Angelica Tree is less spiny than the very similar Aralia elata.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 and should be tested in zones 3.

Aralia continentalis ( Korean Spikenard )
A large perennial plant reaching up to 10 x 10 ( rarely over 6.6 x 5 ) feet that is native to eastern Asia from Vladistock in eastern Russia; south to eastern China & Korea.
The very large, compound leaves, up to 4 feet in length, are composed of leaflets up to 6 inches in length.
The creamy-white flowers are borne on large, pendulous clusters during summer.
They are followed by deep purple berries during autumn.
This Aralia does not bear spines.
Hardy zones 1 to 6 ( tolerating -60 F ).

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


Aralia cordata ( Japanese Spikenard )
A massive perennial plant reaching up to 10 x 10 feet that is native to far eastern Russia, eastern China, Korea and Japan.
The huge bipinnate leaves are composed of large, ovate or oblong leaflets up to 6.5 x 4 inches in size. The foliage is bright green.
The small, white flowers are borne on large umbels, up to 18 inches across, during late summer.
They are followed by purplish-black berries.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 preferring partial shade. Tolerant of winter floods, dusty dry summers and deep shade. This is a great plant for difficult dry shady sites under large trees.

* photo taken on Sep 7 2012 in Harford Co., MD

* photos taken on Sep 20 2014 in Harford Co., MD

* photo taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Sun King'
Extremely rare yellow leaf form that originated in Pennsylvania.
It was introduced directly from Japan by world famed horticulturalist Barry Yinger who named it. He had found it at a collector's show in Japan, without a cultivar name.
It is nearly identical to the species except for having bright golden-yellow foliage and a slightly smaller size ( up to 6 x 8 feet ). There are few better plants for adding stunning tropical effect to a dark corner.

* photos taken on May 6 2010 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on June 1 2014 @ Maryland Horticulturalist Society, Ellicott City

* photos taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

* photo taken on June 3 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Sep 20 2017 in Columbia, MD


Aralia elata ( Japanese Angelica Tree )
A tree reaching up to 20 feet or rarely more that is native to far eastern Siberia, northeast China, Korea and most of Japan. Some records include: largest on record - 65 x 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot. It can sucker heavily and if these are not removed, it can often turn into a tall shrub surrounded by a thicket of root suckers.
A Japanese Angelica Tree that is well pruned, will mature into a tree with a wide, umbrella shaped crown with lacy fine textured foliage. The leaves are bipinnate and up to 3 or rarely 6 feet long. The broadly-ovate to oval leaflets are up to 5 x 3 or rarely 7 x 4 inches in size and are also thicker and rougher than Aralia spinosa. The mid-green foliage turns to yellow, orange, red or purplish during autumn. The leaves are typically clustered at the ends of the shoots.
The flowers clusters are up to 24 x 18 inches in size in early autumn when Aralia spinosa is already in fruit.
The trunk bears occasional prickles. The bark on older trees is slightly corky.
Hardy zones 2 to 8 and is moderate salt tolerant as well as being tolerant of flooding. Not generally bothered by pests. Grown widely as a small ornamental tree.

* photos taken July 4 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on Aug 3 2012 in London, Ontario

* photo taken on Jul 18 2017 @ Dominion Arboretum, Ottawa, ON

* historical archive photo


'Aureomarginata'
leaf margins are yellow turning to creamy white in summer.

* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore College, PA


'Silver Umbrella'
The spectacular foliage is very boldly margined in white.
Due to being grafted, it is slower growing and smaller in mature size than the species.

* photos taken on May 6 2010 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


* photo taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA

* photos taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


'Variegata'
Leaf margins are white.

* photos taken @ Brookside Gardens "Party with the Peonies" tour on May 21 2011


* photo taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on July 25 2015 @ Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

* photos taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


Aralia hispida ( Bristly Saparilla )
A perennial, that is native to moist, sandy or rocky woodland, lakeshores and riverbanks in eastern North America ( from Alberta to Sandy Lake, Ontario to Lansdowne House, Ontario to Ranoke, Ontario to Newfoundland; south to central Minnesota to northern Illinois to northern Ohio to central West Virginia to Maryland ). It is endangered in Indiana, Ohio, Maryland and Virginia. It is extinct in the wild in Illinois.
The bipinnate leaves, up to 2 feet long, are composed of sharply-toothed, oval or ovate leaflets up to 3 inches long.
The white flowers, up to 1 inch wide, are borne in rounded clusters during early summer.
They are followed by purple fruits.
The stems and leafstalks are covered in bristles.
Hardy zones 2 to 5 in partial shade on sandy or gravelly soil.

Aralia nudicaulis ( Wild Sarsaparilla )
A woodland native native to sandy woods in North America ( from southeast Yukon to southwest Northwest Territories to far northeast Alberta to Flin Flon, Manitoba to Dryden, Ontario to Lake Nipigon, Ontario to Fort Albany, Ontario to Newfoundland; south to Idaho to northern Colorado to northeast Missouri to far northern Georgia to Ocean City, Maryland ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was abundant around Point Pelee, the Lake Erie islands as well as the Ohio shore during the 1800s. This plant is a perennial that sends up a single long stalked leaf up to 2 feet in height. The leaf is composed of pinnae up to 15 inches in length, which include finely-toothed, ovate leaflets up to 6 inches in length. The same stalk is tipped by 2 to 7 umbels of greenish-white flowers in May and June. The attractive foliage turns to orange during autumn.
The flowers are followed by berries up to 0.2 inches wide.
Hardy zones 3 to 7 ( likely 1 for northeast Alberta seed source ) and can sometimes become weedy however can be a good choice where an aggressive, rhizomatous, shade groundcover is desired. It thrives in partial to full shade in dry or moist woodlands.


* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, Washington, DC

* photos taken on July 14 2016 in Tobermory, ON


Aralia racemosa ( Spikenard )
A huge perennial spectacular perennial reaching a maximum size of 13 x 10 ( rarely over 7 ) feet.
It is native to rich woods in eastern North America ( from Manitoba to Thunder Bay, Ontario to Wawa, Ontario to Kirkland Lake, Ontario to Quebec to Nova Scotia, south to Arkansas to far northern Georgia and North Carolina ). In the Windsor/Essex County, Ontario region; it was locally common around Colchester during the 1800s. It also occurred sporadically in Detroit, Michigan and abundantly on the Ohio shore at that time.
It has huge, bipinnate leaves that are up to 2.5 feet in length and resemble that of Aralia spinosa. The leaves are composed of sharply-toothed leaflets up to 8 ( rarely over 6 ) inches in length. The foliage is luxuriant mid-green.
The tiny white flowers are borne in large umbels, up to 3 feet in length, during early summer.
They are followed by clusters of reddish-purple berries during late summer into autumn. The berries are a feast for the resident birds.
Hardy zones 3 to 8 in partial to full shade on moist soil. It can spread aggressively by rhizomes.

* photos taken on May 6 2010 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo of unknown internet source

* photos taken on June 30 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


Aralia spinosa ( Devils Walking-stick )
Native to damp woods and forest edges in eastern North America ( from southeast Oklahoma to southern Illinois to Toledo, Ohio to northwest Pennstlvania to central New York State to Connecticut; south to the Gulf of Mexico and central Florida. During the 1800s..it occurred sporadically further north in Detroit. Spreading by root suckers it often becomes a thicket of prickly stems up to 15 feet in height. When grown under ideal conditions and pruned, it can become much larger and tree like; some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 6 feet with trunk diameter increase of 1 inch; largest on record - 74 x 16 feet with a trunk diameter of 2.5 feet.
The foliage is bipinnate, large and tropical in appearance., The leaves reach up to 4 x 3 or rarely 6 x 5 feet in size. The foliage is bronze when young turning to deep green above, paler beneath, hairy on both sides and turning to yellow in autumn. The leafstalks are prickly.
The small, white flowers are borne in mid to late summer and the huge panicles ( up to 4 feet x 15 inches ) are stiffer than Aralia elata.
The flowers are followed by rounded, purple-black berries up to 0.3 inches on red stalks from August to September.
The often sparse branches are very stout and the bark is brown and has stiff strong prickles. On very old trees the bark is thin, gray and in narrow furrows.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 and tolerant of floods, heat, clay, drought and urban conditions.
The Devils Walking-Stick prefers sun to partial shade and a fertile, well drained soil. When young it should be pruned to 1 to 3 trunks and removing all suckers as they will compete. A well pruned tree forms a moderately dense, umbrella shaped crown on a tree that can live up to 50 years.

* photos taken on April 18 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum


* photo taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on Aug 20 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD





* photos taken on Aug 15 2014 at Maryland Zoo, Baltimore, MD

* historical archive photo

* photos taken on Sep 16 2016 @ Patuxent Research Refuge, Laurel, MD

* photo taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


Aralia vietnamensis
The most spectacular of the genus, this Vietnamese native becomes a tree up to 40 feet in height with massive bipinnate leaves, up to 6.5 x 6 feet, composed of very large leaflets, up to 10 inches in length. The leathery foliage is covered in bristles.

Aralia warmingii
A tropical tree native to South America that can reach up to 90 feet with a trunk diameter up to 3 feet. The large bipinnate foliage is up to 3 feet in length and is composed of leaflets up to 3 inches in length. Hardy zones 9 to 12.