Herbs & Plants

Aralia chinensis

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Botanical Name : Aralia chinensis
Family: Araliaceae
Genus: Aralia
Species: A. chinensis
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Apiales

Synonyms: Aralia sinensis Hort,A. elata.

Common Names :Chinese Angelica Tree, Pumila Spirea, Chinese Astilbe

Habitat :   Aralia chinensis is native to E. Asia – China. (China, Vietnam, and Malaysia.)  It grows in forests on rich well moistened soil.

Aralia chinensis is a deciduous Shrub growing to 3.5 m (11ft 6in).It is somewhat prickly and hairy ornamental type,  having leathery twice-pinnate leaves, and panicles of creamy-white flowers, succeeded by black berries. The variegated form with an irregular silvery bordering to the leaflets is particularly handsome

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It is frost tender. It is in flower from Aug to September, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees.

The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils.The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils..It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland).It requires moist soil.

Prefers a good deep loam and a semi-shady position. Requires a sheltered position. Plants are hardier when grown in poorer soils. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun. This species is closely allied to A. elata. A very ornamental plant.

Propagation  :   
Seed – best sown as soon as ripe in a cold frame. Stored seed requires 3 – 5 months of cold stratification. Germination usually takes place within 1 – 4 months at 20°c. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse for at least their first winter. Once the plants are 25cm or more tall, they can be planted out into their permanent positions, late spring or early summer being the best time to do this. Root cuttings 8cm long, December in a cold frame. Store the roots upside down in sand and pot up in March/April. High percentage. Division of suckers in late winter. Very easy, the suckers can be planted out direct into their permanent positions if required.

Edible Uses:       
Edible Parts: Leaves.

Young shoots – cooked. Used as a vegetable. Blanched and used in salads. Although no records of edibility have been seen for the seed, it is said to contain 5.8 – 17.5% protein, 4.2 – 46.3% fat and 3.7 – 5.7% ash.

Medicinal Uses:

Anodyne;  CarminativeDiuretic;  Sialagogue.

The stem and root are anodyne and carminative. It is used as a warming painkilling herb in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The root is also considered to be useful in the treatment of diabetes and dysmenorrhoea. Some caution is advised since the bark is considered to be slightly poisonous. The stembark is diuretic and sialagogue.The plant also relieves flatulence.  It regulates body moisture and  promotes the health of the circulatory and respiratory systems.  The roots and stems are used in decoctions.  Single dose: 31-62g.  Studies in vitro showed that the water extract of herb had cytotoxical effect on esophageal cell line and tests in vivo indicated that it was effective against SAK, HepS, EAC, s180, and U14 murine tumors.

Other Uses:Birds & Wildlife; Deer Resistant; Wind-Breaks; Likes Shade;

Known Hazards :  The bark is considered to be slightly poisonous

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.


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