Aralia Genus spikenard Araliaceae

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla). inflorescences under leaves. MBGargiullo. 5/2017.

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla). inflorescences under leaves. MBGargiullo. 5/2017.JPG

Aralia genus includes herbs, shrubs and small trees.

Leaves doubly compound.

Aralia nudicaulis.flower close-up.floreduquebec.ca

Aralia nudicaulis.flower close-up.floreduquebec.ca (Accessed 10/2016).

Flowers small, greenish-white, 5-parted, radially symmetrical in panicles.

Aralia nudicaulis, fruit. MBGargiullo, Central NJ. ca 2009. JPG

Aralia nudicaulis, fruit. MBGargiullo, Central NJ. ca 2009. JPG

Fruit fleshy, dark purple-black, with several seeds with hard outer coatings (pyrenes). Dispersed by birds.

Hedera helix English ivy Araliaceae HEHE*p; Bx, br, cf, hi, pb (s), rd, vc, wv; NY, n, rv, tr; Q, a, ft, u; K, p; R, ah, ar, c, cg, cl, d, gb, h, is, lt, r, ro, wt;

Hedera helix.ca.wikipedia.org

Hedera helix.ca.wikipedia.org. ( Accessed 5/2014).

Hedera helix is an evergreen, woody vine, climbing to 30 m high by adventitious roots, or creeping ground cover, rooting in soil. 

Leaves alternate, broad, 3-5 palmately lobed, changing shape to rounded or heart-shaped when vine climbs upward, will bloom only when climbing. 

Flowers small, green, in rounded clusters.

Fruit fleshy, black, 1-2 seeded, probably eaten by birds, which disperse seeds. 

Wetland status: NL. 

Frequency in NYC: Frequent. 

Origin: Europe. 

Habitat: Forest ground cover, very shade tolerant. From old house sites, garden waste, often spreads from landscaped areas into woods. 

Hedera helix.commons.wikimedia.org. (Accessed 5/2014).

Hedera helix.commons.wikimedia.org. (Accessed 5/2014).

Notes: Seedlings found rarely (personal observation). Dense ground cover that eliminates native herbs (Young 1996). 

Aralia elata Japanese angelica-tree Araliaceae AREL*p; Bx, bg, pb, vc, wv; NY, ft, hb; Q, a, cu; R, ah, bk, bm, cs, d, fw, gb, h, lp, r, ro, sv, w, wp;

 

Aralia elata.commons.wikimedia.org

Aralia elata.commons.wikimedia.org (Accessed 7/2014).

Aralia elata is a shrub or small tree to 10 m tall, stems very spiny, stout, sparsely branched, colonial from root sprouts, forms thickets, leaf scars large, narrow, extending more than half way around stem, vein scars five or more in a row within leaf scar not as prickly as A. spinosa

Leaves alternate, 40-80 cm long, 1-3 times pinnate, leaflets 6-12 cm long, distinctly stalked, slightly hairy below, veins run to ends of teeth, do not join near edge, margin broadly toothed. 

Flowers greenish-white, small; inflorescence of large, branched clusters, on a short axis, branches 30-45 cm long, July-Aug. 

Aralia elata (Japanese angelica) fruit. plantsgallery.blogspot.com

Aralia elata (Japanese angelica) fruit. plantsgallery.blogspot.com (Accessed 9/2017).

Fruit black, ripens Aug.-Oct., 2-5 seeded berries. Fruit eaten by birds and small mammals. 

Wetland status: UPL. 

Frequency in NYC: Occasional. 

Origin: Japan. 

Habitat: Forest understories, disturbed woodlands, escaped from cultivation (Dirr 1990; Greller et al. 1991). Found in forest soil pH 5.0 (Gargiullo unpublished data). prickles thought to deter damage by herbivores (Briand and Soros 2001). 

Notes: Often mistaken for A. spinosa (devil’s walking stick) , a species native to the southern US. It is likely that there is no A. spinosa in NYC (Steven Glenn personal communication).  Aralia spinosa has leaves with leaflets 5-8 cm long, margins finely toothed, veins join near ends of leaf teeth, and an inflorescence with main axis elongate and branches 20-35 cm long. 

Eleutherococcus sieboldianus  (Acanthopanax s.) five-leaved Aralia Araliaceae ACSI*; Bx, rd, vc; NY, ct, iw, rv; R, ar;

Acanthopanax sieboldianus.Dr. Bernard Demes.exten.dyndns.org

Acanthopanax sieboldianus. Dr. Bernard Demes.exoten.dyndns.org (Accessed 4/2014).

Eleutherococcus sieboldianus is a low, slender arching shrub to 3 m tall, stems often elongate, vine-like, with sets of 1-3 short, downward-pointing prickles at nodes under base of leaf stalk, bark gray with numerous small, raised lenticels 

Leaves alternate, sometimes clustered at nodes, stalk to 8 cm, blade palmately compound, 5 or occasionally 7 leaflets, 2.5-3.5 cm long, 0.8-2.5 cm wide, oblong to widest above middle, pointed at both ends, dark green, margin coarsely toothed. 

Eleutherococcus sieboldianus flowers. asperupgaard.dk

Eleutherococcus sieboldianus flowers. asperupgaard.dk (Accessed 4/2018).

Flowers greenish-white, radially symmetrical, star-shaped, small, petals 5, pointed; inflorescence small, rounded, umbrella-shaped clusters, to 2.5 cm wide on a stalk to 10 cm long, sexes on separate plants. 

Fruit fleshy, black to 0.6 cm wide, seeds 2-5; rarely produced (Brand 2001). 

Wetland status: UPL. 

Frequency in NYC: Infrequent. 

Origin: Japan. 

Habitat: Overgrown horticultural sites. 

Notes: Apparently only female plants used in horticulture but shrubs spread vegetatively rather aggressively, shade tolerant (Dirr 1990; Rehder 1986). 

Panax trifolius dwarf ginseng Araliaceae PATR; Bx, bg, vc; R (R. DeCandido 2001), SSI (Z. Wang 2016);

 

Panax trifolius.Thomas G. Barnes @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.Barnes, T.G., and S.W. Francis. 2004. Wildflowers and ferns of Kentucky. University Press of Kentucky

Panax trifolius.Thomas G. Barnes @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database.Barnes, T.G., and S.W. Francis. 2004. Wildflowers and ferns of Kentucky. University Press of Kentucky (Accessed 4/2014)

Panax trifolius is a perennial, spring ephemeral, small herb from a round, round, tuberous root, stem 5-20 cm tall, unbranched. 

Leaves in one whorl, palmately compound, 3-5 parted, leaflets 4-8 cm long, to 2 cm wide, tip blunt, base unequal, margin finely toothed.

Flowers white, 5-parted, tiny, petals 0.1 cm long, no sepals none; ovary inferior, 2-3 parted, styles 2-3, 0.2 cm long; inflorescence a ball-shaped cluster on an a stalk 2-6 cm long at top of plant; small plants are male, larger plants hermaphroditic (Schlessman et al. 1996); blooms April-May (Radford et al. 1968). 

Fruit fleshy, yellow, 0.5-1 cm wide, seeds 2-3; bird or animal dispersed; fruits Aug.-Oct. Dispersal to and establishment in new sites in successional forest, contiguous to old regrowth stands has been estimated at a rate of 0.22 m/yr (Matlack 1994). 

Wetland status: UPL. 

Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Undisturbed, moist forest interiors. 

Note: This is not the medicinal species of ginseng. The root is apparently edible (Fern 2004) but since these are uncommon forest understory plants it is strongly recommended that they be left undisturbed. There is plenty of food in the supermarket.  

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. 

Aralia nudicaulis wild sarsaparilla Araliaceae ARNU; Bx, g, pb, vc; Q, a, cu; R, ah, ap (E. Danielsen 4/2017), bd, cl, d, ev, gb, gr, lp, ro, t; 

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla) inflorescences, MBGargiullo, 5/2017, NJ .jpg

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla) inflorescences, MBGargiullo, 5/2017, NJ .jpg

Aralia nudicaulis is a perennial herb, about 30 cm tall; roots associated with vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (Berliner and Torrey 1989; Brundrett and Kendrick 1988). extensively colonial from rhizomes, stemless, leaves and flower stalks arise directly from rhizome, shoots of one rhizome can live to 25 years, and may be spaced to nearly 1 m apart, most shoots of a clone do not flower (Edwards 1984).

Aralia nudicaulis, flowers & lvs, May 2015

Aralia nudicaulis, flowers & lvs, MBGargiullo, Central NJ, May 2015

Leaves twice pinnate, 3-parted each part in turn with 3-5 leaflets, each about 10 cm long, 6 cm wide, narrowly elliptic, tip long-pointed, margin toothed.

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla) inflorescences. MBGargiullo, NJ, 5/2017.jpg

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla) inflorescences. MBGargiullo, NJ, 5/2017.jpg

Flowers tiny, whitish, in round clusters on stalks shorter than leaves, usually 3 clusters per stalk, May-July, plants/colonies usually dioecious, (sexes separate); female flowers bloom before males; pollinated by bumble bees and visited by other bees and syrphid flies (Flanagan and Moser 1985), females have fewer flowers than males but flowering stems are larger than those of males, possibly related to the need to support fruit production (Barrett and Helenurm 1981).

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla) fruit. MBGargiullo, .NJ. 6.17.2016

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla) fruit. MBGargiullo, .NJ. 6.17.2016

Fruit fleshy, blackish, July-Aug., several-seeded. Seed load 11%. Pulp nutrients: water 81%, lipid 1%, protein 4%, CHO 56% (White 1989). Fruit eaten by some birds and mammals, seeds dispersed by foxes and birds (Edwards 1984).

Wetland status: FACU.

Frequency in NYC: Occasional.

Origin: Native.

Habitat: Undisturbed forest understories, shade tolerant. Soil pH 5-7.2 (USDA, NRCS 2006) but found in forest soils pH 4.4-5.3 (Gargiullo, unpublished data). Well established colonies may resprout from rhizomes after soil disturbance. Appears to be quite drought tolerant (Gargiullo personal observations).

Aralia hispida bristly sarsaparilla Araliaceae ARHI2; R, ro (possibly now extirpated);

   

Aralia hispida plant. A. A. Reznicek. University of Michigan Herbariu. michiganflora.net

Aralia hispida plant. A. A. Reznicek. University of Michigan Herbariu. michiganflora.net (Accessed 9/2017).

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. 

Aralia hispida flowers. By Donald Cameron. Copyright © 2017 Donald Cameron. New England Wild flower Society. gobotany.newengland.wild.org

Aralia hispida flowers. By Donald Cameron. Copyright © 2017 Donald Cameron. New England Wild flower Society. gobotany.newengland.wild.org (Accessed 9/207).

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. 

Aralia hispida fruit. By Arthur Haines. Copyright © 2017. New England Wild flower Society. gobotany.newenglandwild.org

Aralia hispida fruit. By Arthur Haines. Copyright © 2017. New England Wild flower Society. gobotany.newenglandwild.org (Accessed 9/2017).

Wetland status: UPL. 

Frequency in NYC: Very infrequent. 

Origin: Native. 

Habitat: Undisturbed forest understories. Seen in dry sandy soil of a small oak barren.