(Spikenard)Aralia is a genus of woody and deciduous herbaceous perennials related to ginseng, ivy, and fatsia...our focus is the perennial members of the genus. The individual leaves of aralias are usually double or triple compound... they are composed of many separate leaflets. Perennial aralias produce large numbers of tiny white flower clusters in the late summer that look like miniature fireworks. Aralia flowers are subsequently followed by purple fruit in fall that attracts birds to the garden (including thrushes, robins, and waxwings). In Japan, people also cook and eat tender young aralia shoots like asparagus or add them to miso soup.
In the woodland shade garden, aralias add a wonderful bold texture that contrasts well with hardy ferns and solomon's seal (polygonatum). As a general rule, perennial aralias prefer growing in rich moist soils. They are also deer-resistant. When you are ready to buy perennial aralias for your woodland shade garden, check out our online list of aralias for sale.