Scientific: Fatsia japonica (formerly known as Aralia sieboldii or A. japonica)
Common: fatsia, Japanese aralia
Family: Araliaceae
Origin: Japan

Pronounciation: Fat-SEE-a ja-PON-i-ca

Hardiness zones
4-9, 13 (with protection from sun), 14-24
USDA 8-11

Landscape Use: A foliar accent shrub that in Phoenix is restricted to atriums, sheltered entryways, indoor container plant, around sheltered water gardens and patios. In southern California coastal areas it may be grown in full sun as a foundation accent shrub.

Form & Character: Evergreen, oriental, tropical, erect, bold foliar accent.

Growth Habit: Upright, perennial, semi woody shrub, slow to 5 feet with somewhat lesser spread. In favorable climates can grow large to 20 feet.

Foliage/Texture: Rather large somewhat fleshy leaves to 6 to 8 inches in width, distinctly palmately cut to 7-11 lobes with prominent palmate venation, long petiole; coarse texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Small axillary umbels of white-green flowers followed by small dark blue to black fruits. Japanese aralia flowering and fruiting in Phoenix is rare.

Seasonal Color: None

Temperature: Very heat sensitive in the Phoenix area. Surprisingly though, the winter cold in Phoenix is not problem for Japanese aralia.

Light: Shade in Phoenix is imperative. Must be given ample protection from strong sun.

Soil: Tolerant

Watering: Regular

Pruning: Little to none required, but if needed to control size make only heading cuts very sparingly so as to preserve the natural plant form.

Propagation: Stem cuttings, seed

Disease and pests: Spider mites

Additional comments: Fatsia is a bold foliar accent plant that is most effective if the basal foliage is removed in order to show off some of the interesting branch structure. In Phoenix, landscape use of fatisia is restricted to very sun protected locations because the desert summer sun will literally bake it brown like the top of an angel food cake.

Fatshedera (X) lizei (the botanical wonder or ivy tree) is a cross between Fatsia japonica 'Moseri' and Hedera helix (English ivy). The cultivar 'Annemieke' with its unique yellow variegation is quite amazing.