castor Aralia, Tree Aralia

FAMILY: Araliaceae | GENUS: Kalopanax septemlobus

TYPE
  • Trees
  • Deciduous
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7

Plant Details

Native to eastern Asia. Unusual in being the only cold-hardy large tree in its family. Also notable for the tropical look conferred by big (7- to 10-in.) leaves with five to seven lobes. On young trees, leaves may exceed 1 ft. in width. Tree is open and gaunt in youth but eventually develops an attractive, rounded habit; reaches 4060 ft. tall and equally wide, with a spiny trunk and relatively few coarse, spiny branches. With age, spines eventually disappear from trunk and larger branches. Tiny white flowers appear in flattish, 1- to 2-ft. clusters at branch ends in summer. Tiny black fruit follows the blossoms; it is quickly consumed by birds. Seeds dropped by birds can sprout in fields and wet areas.

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