aralia elata AureovariegataThis small tree or shrub is deciduous and outstanding for both foliage and floral display. Light gray stems bear bi-pinnately compound thorny leaves that are up to four feet long and have up to eighty leaflets. The leaflets are 3 to 3.5 inches long and have yellow gold margins around a green center. They turn orange or purple in the fall. The small creamy white flowers are produced in loose umbels up to 1.5’ wide in late summer and fall and are followed by round purple berry-like fruits. Plants should be protected from the wind which will otherwise shred the leaves.

Type: Deciduous small tree or shrub

Outstanding Feature: Form, foliage, flowers

Form: Spreading

Growth Rate: Slow to moderate

Bloom: Small white flowers in open umbels up to 2’ long in late summer and autumn

Size:12-20’H x 6-12’ W

Light: Light shade

Soil: Fertile, moderately moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 4-9

Care: Remove crossed branches in late winter; dig out all green suckers as they appear.

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Grafting.

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By Karen