Fea­tur­ing an el­e­gant Ja­panese plant

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This plant from Ja­pan is one of the most el­e­gant small de­cid­u­ous trees or large shrubs I know. This par­tic­u­lar va­ri­ety has very long pin­nate leaves with many pairs of leaflets edged in splashes of cream and gold. It will grow into a strik­ing spec­i­men with an im­pres­sive ef­fect in any gar­den. It pro­duces masses of small white flow­ers in late sum­mer, fol­lowed by pur­ple-black berries and in the au­tumn, the leaves change to shades of orange and red be­fore they fall. There is also a va­ri­ety, ‘Var­ie­gata’, with sil­very edges to the leaves. Be­fore plant­ing in a shel­tered, semi-shaded spot, dig in plenty of or­ganic ma­te­rial such as well-rot­ted com­post. If you can give it these con­di­tions, it is a pretty easy shrub to grow in Ir­ish gar­dens.

John­stown Gar­den Cen­tre in Co Kil­dare will have stock of Aralia elata ‘Aure­o­var­ie­gata’ in the next few weeks john­stown­gar­den­cen­

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