|Fatsia japonica in flower|
Decne. & Planch.
Fatsia is a small genus of three species of evergreen shrubs native to southern Japan and Taiwan. They typically have stout, sparsely branched stems bearing spirally-arranged, large leathery, palmately lobed leaves 20–50 cm in width, on a petiole up to 50 cm long, and small creamy-white flowers in dense terminal compound umbels in late autumn or early winter, followed by small black fruit. The genus was formerly classified within a broader interpretation of the related genus Aralia.
Fatsia japonica (fatsi, Japanese aralia, glossy-leaved paper plant, false castor oil plant, fig-leaf palm) is a shrub growing to 3–6 m tall. The leaves have 7-9 broad lobes, divided to half or two-thirds of the way to the base of the leaf; the lobes are edged with coarse, blunt teeth.
Fatsia polycarpa is native to Taiwan's mountainous areas. The leaves have 9-13 deep, narrow lobes, divided nearly to the base of the leaf. Some authors treat it in a separate genus, as Diplofatsia polycarpa.
Close-up of flower umbel