We love the various shades of green displayed by the fascinating Fatsia japonica ‘Murakumo Nishiki’. This amazing Japanese selection of tree ivy is looking rather stunning in the garden this month. This is a slow-growing shrub, which should mature at 4′ tall x 6′ wide. There is a shortage of these in commerce currently, because of a problem with tissue culture lab production. Winter hardiness is Zone 7b-10b.
In 2008, we met the deeply-lobed Fatsia polycarpa (aralia family) on its’ home turf in Taiwan. From our expedition, we were able to import several seedlings, which are now mature. Only one clone had ever flowered before this year, and cold temperatures always killed the developing buds. Finally, this winter, a second clone, Fatsia polycarpa ‘Taroko Treasure’ flowered for the first time, and these flower stalks have withstood the winter temps, which so far, have only dropped to 21F. If these seed mature, we may finally be able to offer this rarely available species…finger crossed.
We have long been enamored with all plants in the aralia family, in particular those which are winter hardy in our climate. We’re trying to collect as many forms of Fatsia japonica as possible, and here are a few from the garden this fall. None of these are available yet, but propagation will be starting soon.
Fatsia japonica ‘Moseri’ – this clone is very popular in Europe, but is rarely seen in US gardens. Reportedly, it’s much more winter hardy than the typical seed-grown material that is produced in Florida. Our plant sailed through last years’ bitter winter.
This is a fascinating, still un-named clone from the US National Arboretum, where it has endured winter temperatures well below zero. In addition to its winter hardiness, we love the ruffled foliage. Now, we just need a good name.
This is a form shared by plantsman Dan Hinkley, when we visited him a few years ago. The thick glossy leaves are very different from anything we’ve seen.
Fatsia polycarpa is a species that we collected in Taiwan several years ago. We have several clones that have survived our winter tests, although with a bit of foliar burn. We’ve started taking cuttings of the best of these.