Fatsia japonica is not generally known for its flowers. It is a rock solid 'hardy exotic': it looks tropical but it is as hard as nails in our climate. It also seeds itself copiously around the garden (it is often mistakenly referred to as the 'castor oil plant'; the castor oil plant, Ricinus communis, is quite different and a member of the Euphorbiaceae). There exist variegated and 'blotched' varieties but they are not to everybody's taste. The species and the varieties develop the best leaf colour when growing in the shade; in direct sun the leaves remain a rather unpleasant washed-out yellowy green. The photograph shows the white 'blotched' variety. Fatsia japonica belongs to the Araliaceae, the ivy family. This family contains a large variety of incredibly peculiar, strangely-named and exotic-looking plants: Aralia, Pseudopanax, Tetrapanax, Dizygotheca and others. There is probably enough variety and contrast in this single family to kit out a whole garden with no risk of repetition or visual tedium.
© Maciej Pomian-Srzednicki, 2008
Telephone 01803 201813

Fatsia japonica

To Main Page