Scientific Classification:

Kingdom Plantae
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Magnoliopsida
Order Apiales
Family Araliaceae
Genus Aralia
Species A. elata
Binomial name Aralia elata

Other Common Names:

The other common names for the Japanese angelica tree are tara-no-ki,dureup namu,Japanese Aralia and Tara-No-Ki.


Japanese angelica tree is a must have for those who love tropical loving gardens. Its compound leaves grow upto 1.5m in when mature and give this plant an extraordinary, very architectural look. Moreover, this variety has golden-yellow margins or varigation. It has much less thorns than its close relative aralia spinosa (devil's walking stick) and no prickles on the leaves. The tree is also known as golden umbrella. They generally spread by suckers and are characterized by large spines on stems. This species is closely allied to Aralia chinensis.


An upright deciduous tree in the Araliaceae family reaching a height of 20 to 40 feet and width of 15 to 30 feet with an irregular, spreading, multistemmed form. Coarse, thick stems have sharp prickles and prominent large leaf scars.

The stems are covered in spines. Large dark green alternate leaves (2-4 feet long) are bi- or tri-pinnately compound. Leaves are pubescent beneath, with veins running to the ends of the serrations. In fall, leaves turn yellow to reddish purple and may drop early in season. The cream white flowers grow in large panicles and bloom in late summer (July-August). Inflorescence branches from the base. Flowers produce small purple to black berries, taken by birds or dropped early. It suckers from base and spreads. These plants aren't evergreens, which mean they lose their leaves some months during the year.


The Japanese angelica tree is an origin of North-eastern Asia and is also widely distributed in Eastern Asia. It is seen in Japan, China, Korea, Manchuria, and Russian Far East.


The tree thrives best in moist soil. It grows in light sandy, medium loamy and heavy clay soils and well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid and neutral medium. It is generally seen in forests, forest margins, scrub fields, roadsides and near sea level to 2700 m.


Dig out an area for the tree that is about 3 or 4 times the diameter of the container or root ball and the same depth as the container or root ball. Use a pitchfork or shovel to scarify the sides of the hole. If container-grown, lay the tree on its side and remove the container. Loosen the roots around the edges without breaking up the root ball too much. Position tree in center of hole so that the best side faces forward. You are ready to begin filling in with soil. If planting a balled and burlaped tree, position it in hole so that the best side faces forward. Untie or remove nails from burlap at top of ball and pull burlap back, so it does not stick out of hole when soil is replaced. Synthetic burlap should be removed as it will not decompose like natural burlap. Larger trees often come in wire baskets.

Plant as you would a b&b plant, but cut as much of the wire away as possible without actually removing the basket. Chances are, you would do more damage to the rootball by removing the basket. Simply cut away wires to leave several large openings for roots.Fill both holes with soil the same way. Never amend with less than half original soil. Recent studies show that if your soil is loose enough, you are better off adding little or no soil amendments.Create a water ring around the outer edge of the hole. Not only will this conserve water, but will direct moisture to perimeter roots, encouraging outer growth. Once tree is established, water ring may be levelled. Studies show that mulched trees grow faster than those unmulched, so add a 3"" layer of pine straw, compost, or pulverized bark over backfilled area. Remove any damaged limbs.

Flowering Season

The white flowers of the Japanese angelica tree are in bloom from late summer to early fall.

Pests and Diseases

Spider Mites and mealy bugs are some of the common pests which affect the Japanese angelica tree. Spider mites feed with piercing mouth parts, which cause plants to appear yellow and stippled. Leaf drop and plant death can occur with heavy infestations.Mealybugs can weaken a plant leading to yellow foliage and leaf drop. They also produce a sweet substance called honeydew (coveted by ants) which can lead to an unattractive black surface fungal growth called sooty mold.They are also affected by aphids which are small, soft-bodied, slow-moving insects that suck fluids from plants. They can transmit harmful plant viruses with their piercing/sucking mouthparts. Aphids, generally, are merely a nuisance, since it takes many of them to cause serious plant damage. Leaf spots are caused by fungi or bacteria. Brown or black spots and patches may be either ragged or circular, with a water soaked or yellow-edged appearance. Insects, rain, dirty garden tools, or even people can help its spread.

Parts Used


All parts of the tree are used for its commercial and medicinal purposes.

Medicinal Applications


• The roots and stems are anodyne and carminative.

• The tree gives a thorough remedy for rheumatoid arthralgia.

• It is also used in the treatment of coughs and sore throats.

• The roots and rhizomes are employed in Chinese herbal preparations for arthritis, rheumatism, headache, toothache, abscesses, and carminative activity.

• The Japanese angelica tree is widely employed in treating stomach ulcers and stomach cancers.

• A tincture made from the bark is used for rheumatism, skin diseases and syphilis.

• Jaundice and diabetes can be treated from the medicinal value of the barks and the roots of the tree.

Commercial Applications


• The shoots of the tree are eaten either edible or cooked.

• The shoots are fried and used mainly in a famous Japanese dish called as tempura batter.

• In Korean cuisine, its shoots called dureup are used for various dishes, such as dureup jeon, that is a vareity of pancake-like dish made by pan-frying the shoots covered with minced beef and batter.

• The wood is used in making toys.

• The shoots can be blanched and used in salads.

• It is used as an ornamental tree.


According to the astro reports the Japanese angelica tree is governed by the celestial body Moon.

Folklores and Myths

Hisamine Uzura Guruma or Hisamine Quail Toy Car is a traditional folk toy whose history has been passed down for years in Miyazaki City.Uzura Gurum is a children's toy based on the quail. Japanese Angelica tree is used for the body and bamboo is used to make the axle of the wheels. On its side is a word, "?", to pray for children's safety and happiness. It was a traditional custom that the toy is to be made only of the Japanese angelica tree.

In old days, the quail toy car was sold at religious festivals in Hisamine Kannon and Kishibo Shrine. They are still loved by the locals and can be seen being displayed by the front entrance of each household. There are two kinds of quail toy cars in Miyazaki City; One in Hokkedake Yakushi-ji Temple and the other one in Hisamine Kannon. Hisamine quail toy car has a more feminine look.The tree is held to be a preservative against evil spirits and witchcrafts of spells of all kinds.