Aralia hispida is a perennial subshrub (barely woody), colonial from stout rhizomes, stem bristly at base; 1.5 m tall. Only sometimes overwintering
Leaves alternate, 2 times pinnately compound, few, leaflets narrowly egg-shaped, to 10 cm long, tip pointed, margin toothed.
Flowers small, 5-parted, greenish, in several, long-stalked umbels; pollinated by bumble bees (Thompson et al. 1989), June-July.
Fruit fleshy, dark purple, tipped by persistent style; eaten by birds and small mammals (Martin et al. 1951); seeds, about 5.
Wetland status: UPL.
Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent.
Habitat: Undisturbed forest understories. Seen in dry sandy soil of a small oak barren.