21 June 2011

Rice Paper Plant is Tetrapanax papyriferus

This large-leaf, gorgeous plant is cold hardy in our area.
The leaves can reach up to 1-foot across.

Rice Paper Plant, also known as Aralia or Fatsia papyrifera, will grow from 8 to 15 feet tall. In fact, it is cold hardy in zones 6 through 10, wants to be watered and is happy in sun or half sun/shade. Its name comes from the stem pith being used to make rice paper.

In the warmer zones its inclination to sucker and move around the garden become a problem. I've been told that it will spread here in zone 7, but, I can tolerate that. The place it is planted is in a privacy screen bed about half way across our 3 acres.

Top Tropicals, a Florida plant vendor says that the leaves grow up to 3-feet across but the ones I've seen here do not. They are probably evergreen in FL, too, but not here.

I have not had the pleasure of seeing one in bloom but evidently the white flowers are in umbels.
The genus Tetrapanax is from woodlands in South China and Taiwan. My experience has been that plants from Asia tend to sucker and spread here.

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