Sun King Golden Japanese Spikenard

Sun King Golden Japanese Spikenard

Gold Leaves, White Flowers, and Black Berries!

Item # 36478

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The old folks call it Mountain Asparagus -- a big, billowy, beautiful perennial that makes a fine statement in the back of the shade border or in a meadow to woodland setting. This is a golden-leaved version of Japanese Spikenard (Aralia cordata), an easy-to-grow, deer-resistant, bee- and butterfly-attracting plant that offers white blooms and showy berries in addition to its spring-through-fall golden leaves! Magnificent!

A great friend to Hosta, Heuchera, Astilbe, and other perennials in the partly to fully shaded border, this Golden Japanese Spikenard thrills with bright red stems and neatly serrated gold leaves. These colors hold true all season, only "greening out" if the shade is too deep (then the leaves turn a nice shade of lime -- not the end of the world!). Later in the season small white flowers grow in racemes, attracting butterflies and bees, followed by dark berries that songbirds -- especially thrushes! -- consider a lovely autumn feast.

Like most Aralias, Sun King will self-sow, growing seedlings wherever its berries fall. This makes them easy to naturalize and cover large areas, filling out shady woodland areas beautifully over time. Of course, if you do not want this, just cut the berries away before they fall. Sun King grows vigorously, swiftly reaching its mature size of 3 to 6 feet high and wide.

From the first gold leaves of spring to the pops of white color on long stems to the deep purple-to-black berries of late summer and fall, Sun King is a marvel. It's that hard-to-find thing: a new perennial for shade! And it needs very little attention to keep growing and looking its best. Just ask the honeybees that flock to its blooms each year!

Sun King does best in part shade and moist, well-drained soil. Zones 3 to 9.