Aralia racemosa

Common name: Spikenard

Native plant

One of the larger shade loving perennials all over Illinois. We have found this plant in moist woods all over the state where soils are in good health. While it will grow on fairly wet soils it seems to prefer better drained, rich soils in part day sun. The flowers are showy collections of umbels that can get very large and are often hidden under its leafy canopy. Woodland bees and beetles are regularly seen (at least in my experience) all over the flowers. Make no mistake, it is a very large plant, getting larger every year it is in the ground. We would recommend that people looking to use it Japanese knotweed or hosta use this species as a replacement.


Click on each individual photo to enlarge for full size preview.

Price Level: 
Perennial- Specialty Species Tier 1
Sizing Options: 
Flat of 18 (pints)

My Cart

Your order contains no products.

Plant Details

Plant type


Soil type

Mesic (Not too Wet Not too Dry), Moist Mesic, Wet

Light exposure

Eastern Exposure / Morning Sun, High Canopy Shade (Usually from oaks), Partial Sun / Part Shade, Shade

Bloom period


Urban environment

Durable Near High Traffic Areas, Maple Shade Tolerant, Uncompacted Urban Soils, Harsh Exposure Tolerant


Floodplain, Moist Woods, Savannas, Woodlands

Growth form

Dence Growth Form, Shrubby/Clump, Low branched, Colonizing / Spreading

Growth rate


Flower color


Fall color



Mature height
2 Feet
Mature width
2 Feet
Max height
5 Feet
Max width
6 Feet

Additional information

Great for Screening/Border Plantings Loved by birds Pollinator hot spot

Plants Comparison

Add | View Comparison