A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Acanthopanax sieboldianus Makino

Modern name

Eleutherococcus sieboldianus (Makino) Koidz.


A. pentaphyllus (Sieb. & Zucc.) Marchal; A. spinosus Hort., not (L.f.) Miq.

A deciduous shrub of loose habit, 8 to 10 ft high, with erect stems and arching, slender branches, often armed with a spine at the base of each leaf­stalk or leaf-cluster; the whole plant without down. Leaves composed of three to (normally) five leaflets, borne on a slender common stalk 112 to 312 in. long; leaflets stalkless, obovate, 1 to 212 in. long, 13 to 1 in. wide, toothed except towards the tapering base. Flowers very small, greenish white, produced during June and later, on a spherical umbel 34 to 1 in. diameter, terminating a slender stalk 2 to 4 in. long. On the year-old wood the leaves are produced in clusters from the previous year’s buds; it is from the centre of this cluster that the inflorescence is borne.

Native of China and Japan; introduced in 1874, but for long confined to cool greenhouses. It is quite hardy if given shelter from north and east, and a most elegant, handsome-foliaged shrub, although destitute of flower beauty. Still more pleasing is the garden variety

cv. ‘Variegatus’, whose leaflets are edged with a broad border of creamy white. This is one of the daintiest of variegated shrubs, hardy, but needing a sheltered position. Propagated by cuttings made of short, moderately firm shoots in heat; or of harder wood under a handlight. It was once known in gardens as Panax quinquefolium variegatum. Illustrated in Flore des Serres, tt. 2079-80 (1874).



Other species in the genus