Aralia elata

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Aralia elata
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Apiales
Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Aralia
A. elata
Binomial name
Aralia elata
(Miq.) Seem., 1868

Aralia elata, also known as the Japanese angelica tree,[1] Chinese angelica-tree,[2] or Korean angelica-tree,[3] is a species of woody plant in the family Araliaceae.


It is an upright deciduous small tree or shrub growing up to 10 m (33 ft) in height,[4] native to eastern Russia, China, Korea, and Japan.

The bark is rough and gray with prickles. The leaves are alternate, large, 60–120 cm long, and double pinnate. The flowers are produced in large umbels in late summer, each flower small and white. The fruit is a small black drupe.

Aralia elata is closely related to the American species Aralia spinosa, with which it is easily confused.


Aralia elata is cultivated, often in a variegated form, for its exotic appearance. It prefers deep loamy soils in partial shade, but will grow in poorer soils and in full sun. The cultivars 'Variegata'[5] and 'Aureovariegata'[6] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.



In Japan, the shoots are eaten in the spring. They are picked from the end of the branches and are commonly fried in a tempura batter. They can also be blanched or stir fried, among other methods.


In Korea,young shoots are harvested during a month, from early April to early May, when they are soft and fragrant. In Korean cuisine, the shoots are commonly eaten blanched, pickled, pan-fried, or deep-fried.

Invasive species[edit]

Aralia elata in the vicinity of Philadelphia, PA.

The tree was introduced into the United States in 1830. Birds like to eat the fruits, and are spreading its seeds, allowing the tree to expand its range as an invasive species in the northeastern United States.[7]


  1. ^ "Angelica elata". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  2. ^ "Aralia elata". Germplasm Resources Information Network. Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture.
  3. ^ Korea National Arboretum (2015). English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: National Arboretum. p. 357. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 6 December 2016 – via Korea Forest Service.
  4. ^ "RHS Plant Selector - Aralia elata". Retrieved 29 May 2013.
  5. ^ "Aralia elata 'Variegata'". RHS. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  6. ^ "Aralia elata 'Aureovariegata'". RHS. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  7. ^ U.S. Dept. of Agriculture: Map of distribution in U.S. and Canada