Aralia spinosa

  • BOTANICAL NAMEAralia spinosa
  • RONUNCIATION:  a-RA-li-a spi-NO-sa
  • COMMON NAME: Devil's-walking-stick, Hercules-club
  • FAMILY: Araliaceae
  • NATIVITY: Pennsylvania west to Iowa, south to Texas and Florida.
  • GROWTH HABIT: Large, coarse-textured shrub to 20'. Normally suckers freely. Better than a barbed-wire fence.
  • HARDINESS: Zone 5-9
  • CULTURE: Prefers well-drained, moist soils but grows well on rocky, dry or clay soils and is pH adaptable. Good for urban use.
  • LANDSCAPE USE:  Novelty plant that will stand out due to the soft tropical effect in summer and the coarse texture in winter. Best used in mass plantings. Large terminal panicles of white flowers grace this plant in the mid to late summer.
  • FOLIAGE: Alternate, bi- or tripinnately compound, 3'-5'. Leaflets 2"-4", acuminate, serrate also with spines.
  • BUDSOvoid to conical with few scales.
  • BARK: Stems thick, straw colored with numerous prickles.  Leaf scars prominent resembling a Cheshire cat's grin.
  • FLOWERS:   Large clusters, 1 to 1 1/2'across,  of creamy white flowers appear in mid to late summer and last until late summer or fall.
  • FRUITPurple-black drupe, 1/4" long.
  • PROPAGATION:  Seeds, root cutting.
  • PESTS:   None serious.
University of Delaware

University of Delaware Botanic GardensNewark, DE 19716Phone: 302 831-0153