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Ivy's big brother with a sting in his tail

  • Ivy's big brother with a sting in his tail
  • Ivy's big brother with a sting in his tail
  • Ivy's big brother with a sting in his tail
  • Ivy's big brother with a sting in his tail

This is my American spikenard, a striking plant from the eastern US. It is a herbaceous Aralia and gets to nearly 10ft high. I really like it, but I got its seed as American ginseng, a related plant only a few inches high and planted the young plant near the path not realising what it really was. So each spring up it comes as imposing as ever when it flowers, which just like ivy attracts a large number of wasps that become increasingly grumpy as August wears on. By September it gets very interesting to get past this plant, yes , I could move it, but it likes it there, all part of the rich tapestry of a garden.

Comments (2)

  1. Grower

    Jeremy Wright

    Wow - that's a striking plant. I really like it. I read a poultice of the roots are also sometimes used in the US for making tea and root beer. Interesting!

  2. Grower

    Rob Johnson, Green & Furry pet and garden care

    Indeed, this plant is truly striking but then disappears in winter compleatly, so creating an ever changing panorama in the garden. In the states it is known as the queen of herbs and lends itself to a multitude of ills, some quite serious, another clue to its relationship with ginseng. It is also not difficult to please, though the seedlings are prone to damping off so care must be taken until the third or fourth leaf just keep well aired. mine is aralia racemosa, there are several other herbaceous species, all a very interesting change to the woody species, or fatsia. I put a leaflet with fresh mint as a delicious tonic tea.


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