'Sun King' Aralia - Bold and Stunning in Part Shade

Sun King Aralia - photo by Wayside gardens 

A shrub for part shade, Aralia cordata ' Sun King', grows 3' - 5' tall and wide and is a great companion to Hosta. Many sources say it is deer resistant - so maybe it is....

Aralia Sun King on Right..Great photo by Karl Gercens

Brought to the US and named by Barry Yinger, who found it in a Japanese department store nursery, Aralia 'Sun King' is one of the most amazing new perennial introductions in the last decade! 

The Golden Japanese Aralia grows in USDA zones 4a - 8b and emerges with bold, gold compound leaves. The foliage will remain gold all summer given a few hours of sun a day. In heavier shade, foliage will be lime green.

photo by Plant Delights Nursery 

It has bright red stems and later in the season it features small white flowers that attract plenty of pollinators like honeybees. This is followed by masses of beautiful purple/black berries that birds (especially thrushes) love to snack on.

What a great backdrop of a partly shaded border!

aralia berries - birds love them. from Bellevue Botanic Garden 

 Aralias will spread if you do not weed out any seedlings you do not want.  'Sun King' grows vigorously, swiftly reaching its mature size.  Just watch to keep it in bounds.... Plant 'Sun King' in part shade and moist conditions. Likes ample water. 

And hopefully, it really is deer resistant. Looks good near a burgundy foliage like heuchera, threadleaf Japanese Maple (deer resistant too).  Here is another wonderful Karl Gercens photo, 'Sun King' Aralia on left:

sun king aralia on left - Photo by Karl Gercens


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