Day 231: Aralia in flower

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year


We’re entering that part of the year when the strange flowers of members of the aralia family begin to tempt pollinators – most familiar to those of us in the UK being those on our native ivy, and the closely related evergreen shrub Fatsia japonica. But imagine scaling those strange blooms up by several orders of magnitude and you’ll have something approximating the enourmous flowerheads of Aralia cordata. Long, branching stems, each at least 60cm in length, covered in spherical starbursts and at the centre of a cloud of delighted bees and other nectar-seeking insects. While the plain vanilla version of this plant may not have such vibrantly coloured foliage as the golden leaved Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’ we met on Day 199, it impresses in other respects, and most notably in size – a giant at two to three metres tall.

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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, writer, photographer, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking this image.