Aralia cordata 'Sun King'
Sun King Spikenard
Item #: 9133
Zones: 4a to 8b, at least
Height: 72" tall
Aralia 'Sun King' was the 2020 Perennial Plant of the Year...congratulations! This glowing gem forms a dazzling 6' tall x 4' wide clump that emerges in mid-spring with bright gold compound leaves. With a few hours of sun, the foliage remains bright gold through the summer, at which time the clumps are topped with 2' tall spikes of tiny white flowers followed by ornamental black fruit. Brought to the US and named by Barry Yinger, who found it in a Japanese department store nursery, this is truly one of the most amazing perennial introductions in decades! Did we mentioned that the edible new shoots are prized by food foragers?
Other than cleaning up the old foliage after the plant goes dormant in fall, there's little else that's needed.
It grows well in both sun and part sun. Although it will also grow in light open shade, the foliage will not remain bright gold. Evenly moist soils are best, although it is tolerant of both soils that stay moist and can handle short term droughts fine, although it may drop some foliage. Dry soils can cause plant stress, which can lead to pests like spider mites.
'Sun King' spikenard is one of a small number of bold-textured, gold foliaged plants in the garden. It can be seen from quite a distance, so can be used to visually make distant parts of the garden appear to be closer.
The flowers are attractive to pollinators like many of the native wasps.
Flower Color: White/Cream
Leaf Color: Yellow/Gold
Bloom Time: Summer
Container Role: Thrillers
Other: Edimentals , Deer Resistant Plants , Giant Plants , Ornamental Seed or Fruit , Perennial Plant of the Year , Plants from China , Plants from Japan , Rain Garden Plants , Colored Foliage , Tony's Favorites