Thursday, July 1, 2010

Aralia cordata 'Sun King'

I like tropical textures in the garden, especially when gardening in the shade. It's important to make an impression with textural contrast in the shade garden, since it's difficult to make a huge impact with flower color. Aralia 'Sun King' gives you that great huge-foliage tropical look, as well as bright color due to the yellow to chartreuse foliage. Individual leaves should get nearly 3' long x 2.5' wide. Big racemes of white flowers in mid-late summer are followed by purple berries. Other species of Aralia attract honeybees, and this one should be no different. Grown with some morning sun in a good organic rich soil, 'Sun King' will make an awesome accent plant. There isn't a lot of information out there on this plant, and a lot of it is conflicting. I've seen zone ratings anywhere from 3 to 6. Also, mature sizes range from 3-9' tall x 3-10' wide. So, what's the truth of the matter? I think hardiness will be at least zone 5, which is the rating Asiatica gave it in their catalog a few years ago. Aralia cordata is known to be hardy to zone 4, this selection could possibly be a little less hardy. Time will tell. Size? I think the 3' x 3' that Terra Nova is giving it is a bit on the small side. I would guess it will easily hit 6' tall and 7' wide, given that it's a selection of A. cordata which can grow to 9'. Be sure to give this baby some room in your shade garden!

2 comments:

  1. I just posted a picture of this Aralia that I saw at the Maine Coast Botanical Gardens (it is hardy there!) and I googled the name to see if it ever flowered and your blog appeared! Thanks for the info, the stand I saw of it was huge!

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  2. Thanks Helen, great blog! How big was the plant at the CMBG and any idea how old it is? For quick reference to others, here is a link to Helens post with a pic of Aralia 'Sun King'.
    http://anemonetimes.blogspot.com/2011/09/more-plants-on-maine-coast.html

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