at Digging Dog
photo: public domain from wikimedia.org
Gracing the shade garden with a quiet textural beauty, this slowly colonizing North American perennial inhabits wooded areas, from New Brunswick to North Carolina and west to Utah and New Mexico.
Large, stout aromatic rhizomes sprout a multitude of abundantly branched glabrous stems and shrubby dark green compound foliage. The lush heart-shaped leaflets are toothed and unfurl in bronzy shades. Numerous round airy starbursts, defined by tiny cream-colored flowers, light up long terminal panicles like 4th of July sparklers. Glistening dark purple berries add additional appeal, while the spicy roots flavor root beer and yield medicinal remedies for broken bones, inflammation and asthma.
Surprisingly adaptable and easily maintained, Life-of-Man relishes bright shade, average moisture and fertile locales.
Size: 3' 0"–5' 0" high x 3' 0"–5' 0" wide; hardy to zone 3.
Aralia racemosa (P-1688)
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