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Genus Tetrapanax (Rice-paper plant)

Tetrapanax Tetrapanax papyrifera Photo/Illustration: Jennifer Benner
tet-trah-PAN-aks Common Name: Rice-paper plant Synonyms: Aralia, Fatsia,
The genus Tetrapanax has just one species (T. papyrifer), a suckering, evergreen shrub that can be grown as a small tree. It is native to woodland in southern China and Taiwan and produces large, lobed leaves and umbels of white flowers in panicle-like inflorescences that attract bees. Flowers are followed by clusters of black fruit. Grow in a sheltered border where hardy, or against a warm wall, in a container, or in a cool greenhouse where not hardy.  
Noteworthy characteristics: Large leaves; wooly flowers; black fruit. The flowers attract bees. May be invasive in some areas. Suckers can come up as far as 20 feet away from the parent plant.
Care: Tolerates any well-drained soil in full sun. Provide shelter from wind. Remove suckers at the extremities to control spread.
Propagation: Sow seed in a cold frame in the fall, or remove suckers in spring or summer.
Problems: Infrequent.

Species, varieties and cultivars for genus Tetrapanax

Tetrapanax papyrifer Tetrapanax papyrifer
(Rice-paper plant)
(1 user review)
Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Large—to 20 inches across—almost rounded, lobed leaves colored a downy gray-tinged green contrast beautifully with almost any companion plant. This thicket-forming, sparsely branched, evergreen shrub, which behaves like an herbaceous perennial in Zones 6 and 7, produces thick, leafy shoots topped by white flowers borne on branching stems to 20 inches long in fall.