• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Aralia elata

Japanese angelica tree

Japanese angelica tree

© RHS 2002

  • Other common names Japanese angelica tree
    Japanese spikenard

    angelica tree

    see more
  • Synonyms Aralia chinensis misapplied
    Aralia chinensis var. nuda

    Aralia spinosa misapplied

    see more
  • Family Araliaceae

  • Genus Aralia can be deciduous trees, shrubs or perennials, with large, simple or pinnately compound leaves and tiny greenish-white flowers in large terminal clusters, followed by small black fruits

  • Details A. elata is a large deciduous shrub or small open tree to 10m, with very large bipinnate leaves at the tips of stout, spiny stems. Flowers tiny, cream, in large billowy panicles

  • Plant range Japan


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect East-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Chalk


  • MoistureMoist but well-drained

  • SoilLoam, Sand

  • pHNeutral


  • Ultimate height 8-12 metres

  • Ultimate spread wider than 8 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 10-20 years

How to grow

Cultivation Grow in moderately fertile, well-drained soil in partial shade. Shelter from strong winds that may damage the leaves

Propagation Propagate by seed when ripe or root cuttings and suckers. Variegated cultivars must be grafted

Suggested planting locations and garden types Low Maintenance Architectural

How to care

Pruning Pruning group 1

Pests Flower stems susceptible to damage by aphids;foliage to thrips and glasshouse red spider mite

Diseases Generally disease free

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