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'Sun King' Golden Japanese Spikenard Aralia cordata

  • Part Shade to Shade

The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).

Flower Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
Mature Size
36" 36"
30 - 36"
30 - 36"
  • Details


    A unique golden-leafed plant for the shade. The color will be brighter yellow in part sun, and more chartreuse or lime green in full shade. Tiny white flowers. After blooming, deep purplish black, inedible berries.

    Produces Berries
    Foliage Interest


    Plant Type: 
    Height Category: 
    Garden Height: 
    30 - 36 Inches
    30 - 36 Inches
    30 - 36 Inches
    Flower Colors: 
    Flower Shade: 
    Foliage Colors: 
    Foliage Shade: 
    Bright golden yellow to chartreuse
    Container Role: 

    Plant Needs

    Light Requirement: 
    Part Shade to Shade
    Maintenance Category: 
    Bloom Time: 
    Mid Summer
    Bloom Time: 
    Late Summer
    Hardiness Zones: 
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
    Water Category: 
    Needs Good Drainage
    Soil Fertility Requirement: 
    Average Soil
    Soil Fertility Requirement: 
    Fertile Soil
    Soil PH Category: 
    Acidic Soil
    Soil PH Category: 
    Neutral Soil
    Border Plant
    Mass Planting
    Specimen or Focal Point
    Maintenance Notes: 

    This unique perennial grows best in part to light shade, though if given consistent moisture it can also grow in full sun. It prefers richly organic, deep loamy soil that is moist but well-drained. This plant is not drought tolerant. It typically dies back to the ground in winter and re-emerges in spring to quickly form a shrub-like clump.

    'Sun King' Aralia cordata
  • 3 Reviews

    • One of the best perennials for dappled shade and deer resistant in my garden. I had a beautiful hosta collection that has been devastated by our local deer herd. Replacing many hosta with aralia and carex. Aralia is slow to emerge in spring but useful in helping to hide dying foliage of spring bulbs. Grows well under my mature Betula 'Heritage' river birches together with bleeding hearts and dwarf aruncus. I have five Aralia 'Sun King'plants and plan to purchase more for another area of my garden.

      April Kline
      , Pennsylvania
      , United States
      , 42 weeks ago
      Above Average Superior performance, among my favorites, would recommend to others.
    • I'm in love with this plant although I need to make way for it. Much bigger than I anticipated. Beautiful bright foliage for a part sun border. I bought a second one which gets more sun and it is not as prolific so I plan to move it.

      Tanya Tenkarian
      , New Hampshire
      , United States
      , 44 weeks ago
      Above Average Superior performance, among my favorites, would recommend to others.
    • This is an outstanding large scale specimen foliage plant for the shaded garden. Its brilliant yellow leaves light up the woodland garden. It increases especially quickly in moist soil but is tolerant of drier conditions. Really a beauty!

      Zannah Crowe
      , Wisconsin
      , United States
      , 1 year ago
      Outstanding My favorite plant, I recommend to others all the time and explain the reasons why I like it so much.
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