Aralia racemosa spikenard Araliaceae ARRA; Bx, bg, vc; NY, iw; Q, a, cu, f; R (DeCandido 2001);

   

Aralia racemosa.delawarewildflowers.org

Aralia racemosa. David G. Smith delawarewildflowers.org. (Accessed 3/2014).

Aralia racemosa  is a perennial herb, 0.5-2 m tall, stem stout, widely branched; colonial, roots large, spicy-aromatic. 

Aralia racemosa leaf. 2011 © Peter M. Dziuk. Minnesota Wildflowers. minnesotawildflowers.info

Aralia racemosa leaf. 2011 © Peter M. Dziuk. Minnesota Wildflowers. minnesotawildflowers.info

Leaves alternate, to 80 cm long, twice compound with three primary leaflets, blades of secondary leaflets to 15 cm long, variable on same leaf, slightly hairy, heart-shaped, tip pointed, base unequally lobed, margin sharply double toothed. 

Aralia racemosa flowers. 2011 © Peter M. Dziuk. Minnesota Wildflowers. minnesotawildflowers.info

Aralia racemosa flowers. 2011 © Peter M. Dziuk. Minnesota Wildflowers. minnesotawildflowers.info

Flowers tiny, white, radially symmetrical, 5-parted, ovary inferior; inflorescence elongate, branched with flowers in numerous umbrella-shaped clusters; blooms June-Aug. 

Aralia racemosa (spikenard). Louie Fiorino, Tecumseh Ontario, Canada. 7/2017.

Aralia racemosa (spikenard). Louie Fiorino, Tecumseh Ontario, Canada. 7/2017.

Fruit fleshy, dark purple; several-seeded; eaten by a few birds and mammals (Martin et al. 1951). 

Wetland status: NL. 

Frequency in NYC: Infrequent. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Undisturbed forest understories, moist to moderately dry soil.