Aralia cordata Sun King
Aralia cordata Sun King photo courtesy of Walters Gardens

Golden Japanese Spikenard

Aralia cordata 'Sun King' is a recent introduction that is already creating a lot of buzz in the plant world. This hardy beauty brightens up the shade garden with its large, compound, bright gold leaves. It is a big plant that gives a lush tropical feel to the shade garden. In morning sun the colour will be bright gold. In shade it will be greener. Tiny white flowers give way to purple-black berries in the fall.

Growing and Maintenance Tips

Aralia 'Sun King' grows well in partial shade but, if given lots of moisture, can handle more sun. It prefers rich, well drained loamy soil so adding compost to the bed is essential. This plant is not drought tolerant nor will it handle a lot of competition from tree roots. It dies to the ground in the winter and emerges in the spring to quickly form a clump that looks more like a shrub than a perennial.

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