Pic of the Day – Fatsia polycarpa

The large palmately lobed leaves give a decidedly unusual texture to this Taiwan fatsia.

The large palmately lobed leaves give a decidedly unusual texture to this Taiwan fatsia.

Long petioles, large leaves evergreen leaves, and quick growth make this an outstanding plant.

Long petioles, large leaves evergreen leaves, and quick growth make this an outstanding plant.

Fatsia japonica has long been grown both as a landscape plant in the south and a houseplant in colder climates.  Few people realize that there is a second species on Taiwan that deserves to be tried in the landscape as well.  The Taiwan fatsia (Fatsia polycarpa) makes an evergreen shrub with stout stems and long petioles (leaf stalks) bearing deeply lobed leaves.  Some plants resemble their Japanese counterparts closely while others have a much finer texture.  Plants appear to grow much quicker than the Japanese species, often flushing multiple times in one season.  White flowers appear at the tops of the stems on mature plants in golf-ball sized clusters in fall and black fruits form over winter.  We are still assessing hardiness in zone 7 but plants have so far fared well over the past several years under high shade in several spots in the garden.

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