Japanese angelica tree
Aralia elata (Miq.) Seem


Aralia elata is a deciduous thicket forming tree or shrub, up to 40 ft. tall with an irregular form. It has a spreading habit and can be multi or single stemmed. The bark is covered in sharp thorns.
The leaves are alternate and 2 to 3 times pinnately compound with toothed or mostly toothless margins. The leaflets are from 2-4.75 in. long with the entire leaf from 2-4 ft. long. The main leaf veins extend to the leaf edge with spines along the leaf axils.
The whitish to cream colored flowers are borne in a large inflorescence from 12-24 in. long. The inflorescence is multi-stemmed and is often wider than tall. It blooms from about late July to August.
Fruits are small purple to black berries appearing August to September and ripening from September to October.
Ecological Threat
Aralia elata can be found in a variety of different habitat types such as forest, shrub land, meadow, and landscaping. It is highly threatening to native plant communities.


Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Apiales
Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Aralia
Subject: Aralia elata (Miq.) Seem

Synonyms and Other Names

Related Scientific Names:
Aralia elata aureovariegata (Rehder) Nakai (Synonym)


Plants - Hardwood Trees