Position: Partial shade, will tolerate full sun
Soil: Moist, well drained
Flowering period: Autumn
Eventual Height: 4m
Eventual Spread: 4m
Hardiness: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
Fatsia japonica is an evergreen shrub with a rounded, dense habit. The stout shoots have very large and rounded leaves. They are deeply lobed and are a glossy, dark green. In autumn it produces 5 petaled, creamy white flowers that are 6mm across. The flowers present in umbels which are themselves stalked from compound umbels forming masses of flowers with a high visual impact. Small spherical white fruit which then turn black with age follows on from the flowers.
Fatsia japonica, commonly known as Fasti, the False Castor Oil Plant or the Japanese Aralia, is native to southern Japan and South Korea.
The etymological root of the binomial name Fatsia may be derived from the old Japanese word for ‘eight’ and sources have given both fatsi and yatsuba as its Japanese common names, reader input is welcomed on this matter. Japonica is derived from the Latin meaning ‘of Japan’
Fatsia japonica is useful to the landscape architect as a shrub with a tropical appearance but a high frost tolerance. It also has a fine architectural habit and a late flowering period. It is also tolerant to a coastal climate and atmospheric pollution but will require a sheltered location.
Ecologically, Fatsia japonica provides cover for birds in a similar manner to Ilex. It also provides a valuable source of late nectar for insects and the berries are highly attractive to Blackbirds.
The Royal Horticultural Society have given Fatsia japonica their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.
Fatsia japonica prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It will tolerate most pH of soil.
Fatsia japonica requires little maintenance. Pruning, if necessary (to encourage good form), should be carried out in spring. It should be planted in spring as it is susceptible to frost during establishment.