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Fatsia japonica (Thunb.) Decne. & Planch.

Modern name

Fatsia japonica (Thunb.) Decne. & Planch.


Aralia japonica Thunb.

An evergreen shrub or small tree, usually seen as a spreading bush from 6 to 15 ft high. Stems very thick, not much branched, unarmed, marked with large scars left by fallen leaves. Leaves leathery, varying in size according to the size and vigour of the plant, ordinarily 12 to 16 in. across, palmate, with a broad heart-shaped base and usually nine lobes, the lobes reaching more than half-way to the base, ovate, coarsely and bluntly toothed except towards the base, where the opening between the lobes is wide and rounded, upper surface dark shining green, the lower one paler, both quite glabrous; stalk round, stout, smooth, often 1 ft or more long. Flowers milky white, produced in the autumn on large branching panicles of globose heads, each head 2 to 3 in. wide; stalks white like the flowers. Fruits black, pea-shaped. Bot. Mag., t. 8638.

Native of Japan; introduced in 1838. This very handsome shrub, which bears about the largest leaves of any hardy evergreen, is well known as a plant grown in pots for house decoration. It is not so well known that it succeeds very well out-of-doors, and often makes a striking display in October, provided it is given a sheltered, semi-shaded spot. It is well worth growing for its bold and striking foliage. Propagated by cuttings put singly in pots, and plunged in mild bottom heat any time after the wood is fairly firm. ‘Variegata’ has large blotches of white towards the end of the lobes; ‘Aurea’ has golden-variegated leaves; ‘Moseri’, referred to above as one parent of × Fatshedera lizei, is more compact in habit, with larger leaves.



Other species in the genus

[No species article available]