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Tetrapanax papyrifer 'Rex'

Chinese rice-paper plant 'Rex'

A large, fast-growing shrub or small tree to about 5m high, producing a thicket of upright stems topped by very large, deeply lobed green leaves up to 1m across. New shoots and leaves have a coating of fine, pale brown hairs. Creamy pompoms of flowers are produced in large sprays in autumn, followed by black fruit.

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Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
4–8 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Green
Autumn Cream Green
Winter Green Black
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

West–facing or South–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H4
Botanical details
Family
Araliaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Semi evergreen
Habit
Columnar upright, Bushy
Genus

Tetrapanax are suckering, evergreen shrubs or small trees, with large, palmately-lobed leaves. The flowers are produced in large, woolly sprays, attractive to bees, followed by black fruit

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in well-drained soil in full sun. Protect from cold winds and provide a deep mulch over winter in cold areas. If kept frost-free it will be evergreen; with mild frosts the plant is deciduous, and in colder areas it may die back to ground level then reshoot from the roots.

Propagation

Propagate by seed sown in containers in a cold frame in autumn, or by division, removing suckers in spring or summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Sub-tropical
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Gravel garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Remove dead or damaged leaves as necessary. Remove suckers if you want to prevent the spread of established clumps

Pests

Generally pest-free

Diseases

Generally disease-free

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