Saturday, April 25, 2009

Who's waking up now? Aralia.

Oh really?

No, Aralia. Devil's Walkingstick, Aralia spinosa. Also known as Angelica Tree, among other names.

Aralia leaf buds opening.

This plant (assuming I have identified it correctly, and that it isn't a similar-looking Asian species) is native to the eastern US, from Pennsylvania west to Iowa, south to Texas and Florida. It is one of the more curious plants found in Paulik Park, Richmond BC.

Aralia: leaf petioles clasping stem, late summer.

For it is basically a stick, from which long, wide-based petioles extend with compound (bipinnate) leaves (the leaflets themselves are divided into leaflets). The entire leaf surface makes these the biggest leaves of plants native to the United States.

Aralia, fall colour.

The plant grows as clumps of unbranched woody stems that can reach 15 or 20 feet. It prefers rich, damp soils, often within the understory of moist bottomlands.

Aralia: Appearance in winter.

Very good. And who else is waking up?
A couple of other oddball favourites:

Gunnera, which takes little time becoming a garden star.


Ginkgo biloba, spurs.

the maidenhair tree, Ginkgo biloba. The whorls of leaves emerge from spurs on the branches.


Kim and Victoria said...

Looking forward to seeing your gunnera later in the year.

pookie said...

I'm very excited about trying to grow my own widdo ginkgo biloba trees. A friend mentioned that a female ginkgo that puts out nice (stinky!) seeds was growing next to his place of work here in NZ, and shazzam! there they were. I picked up six and removed the (stinky!) yellow fruit stuff from around the seed pods and then popped them into a damp paper towel in a jar and then into the fridge for a few months. Hope to be a ginkgo momma come spring.

Hugh said...

K&V, I find it difficult not to photograph Gunnera, so no dount there will be more.

Good luck Pookie!