Gardening Answers

‘Sun King’ Aralia

mdwyer | Posted in Midwest Gardening on

Right outside my front door, in a partly shaded location, is a ‘Sun King’ golden Japanese spikenard (Aralia cordata) that I enjoy every time I look at it.  It gets enough sun to feature a bright, golden/chartreuse cast on the subtropical-looking leaves for the entire growing season. How many perennials do you have that look good for close to 200 days (in the Midwest)!?  

I wrote an article on this plant for Fine Gardening at which shares more of the “merits and magic” of this great perennial which I think is one the best out there for bold impact. 

Is anyone else growing this treasure?


  1. User avater
    jenfuran | | #1

    I planted mine just last fall, and it's really taken off this spring. It gets some morning sun so is a beautiful golden chartreuse.

    1. User avater Moderator
      mdwyer | | #2

      It's an amazing plant as you likely know! I think it's my favorite "new" perennial introduced in the last 10 years! It's interesting to see how big they will eventually get as the green form will get quite large (almost 8'+ tall). I've seen 'Sun King' at 6' in height at Olbrich Botanical Garden (Madison, WI) and will keep observing them!

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