JAPANESE ARALIA

FIG-LEAF PALM

Fatsia japonica

Ivy Family [Araliaceae]

Flowers:
month8oct month8nov month8dec

Fruits:
fruit8mar fruit8march fruit8apr fruit8april fruit8may

status
statusZalien
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8cream
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZclustered
type
typeZglobed
stem
stem8round

4th Aug 2009, Ruffford, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Grows up to 6m tall, but usually only to 3m.


1st Nov 2011, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Large architectural glossy green leaves.


1st Nov 2011, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Flowers in globes on panicles.


2nd Nov 2011, Monton, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The flowers first emerge as a clump of buds about the size of a tennis ball with the large leaves on long stalks below it.


2nd Nov 2011, Monton, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Each panicle consists of a clump of small brownish buds. Each clump wrapped in five green to orange sepals.


2nd Nov 2011, Monton, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The panicle grows longer, and each clump spreads out to become a globular cluster of pale green flower buds.


2nd Nov 2011, Monton, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD


2nd Nov 2011, Monton, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
At first each slightly pentangular flower bud is pale kendal-green.


2nd Nov 2011, Monton, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The flower buds then open.


2nd Nov 2011, Monton, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Each flower has five long white to green 'petals' (possibly sepals?), a creamy yellow ovary in the centre and five white stamens with white anthers.


2nd Nov 2011, Monton, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Without the white pollen, the anthers are brown.


2nd Nov 2011, Monton, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Two stray flowers not a part of a globe.


2nd Nov 2011, Monton, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
Petals (sepals?) still have the pale Kendal-green tint near the tips.


21st May 2012, pub garden, Waterloo, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
After flowering the ovaries turn to hard fruits, brown at first, then turning black when ripe.


21st May 2012, pub garden, Waterloo, Merseyside. Photo: © RWD
The globe of fruits. Black with a smaller grey circular area. Not too dissimilar to those of Ivy.


4th Aug 2009, Ruffford, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are large, up to a foot across, palmate, and with between seven and nine lobes, cut to more than half-way where the cut is neatly rounded for stress-relief so that they are less prone to tear. Each lobe has a conspicuous lighter-coloured mid-rib, with curved veins branching off it.


1st Nov 2011, Walkden, Gtr M/cr. Photo: © RWD
The leaves are glossy green, in various shades between mid-green to dark green depending on whether the sun regularly shines on them. The outer halves have coarse but blunt teeth.


The globular clusters of flowers bear some similarities to : Ivy

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The large shiny green 7-9 lobed leaves which are deeply lobed.

It has several other names, one of which is Fig-leaf Palm, but it bears no relation to Palm.

More likely to be found in a garden than growing wild, but it is to be found mostly in and around the Greater London area. Native to Japan, they grow between 3 and 6m tall. The flowers are in globular clusters, the clusters arranged hierarchically as a panicle. Each globular cluster resembles that of Ivy to which it is related. The leaves are much larger than those of Ivy and with many more than three the lobes of Ivy. The glossy leaves have between 7 and 9 lobes (typically 8, which is why they have the genus name 'Fatsia' which in an older Japanese language means '8' (the modern day Japanese word for 8 is now 'hachi'). It is very tolerant of shade, when the leaves will take on a much darker shade of green.

The fruits appear between March and May.

A POLYACETYLENE / POLYYNE


Cis-9,17-Octadecadiene-12,14-diyne-1,16-diol, a polyacetylenic analogue of Falcarinol (which is present in Ivy) has been found in Japanese Aralia. It is an allergen and strong sensitiser. This compound was found to be about six times more abundant in the leaves of Dendropanax trifidus an Ivy-like tree belonging in the same family as Japanese Aralia and Ivy.


  Fatsia japonica  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Araliaceae  

Distribution
 family8Ivy family8Araliaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Fatsia
Fatsia
(Fatsia)

JAPANESE ARALIA

FIG-LEAF PALM

Fatsia japonica

Ivy Family [Araliaceae]

WildFlowerFinder Homepage