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False castor oil plant

The False castor oil plant (Fatsia japonica)

is a medium sized wide fully hardy perennial evergreen shrub with white and cream flowers in mid Autumn. It grows well in semi-shade and direct sun, and prefers medium levels of water. The flowers are arranged in a cymose corymb inflorescence.
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It looks best in Autumn.



Some people call this the 'Castor Oil' plant, but that plant is actually Ricinus communis where castor oil is derived from. This plant is actually the 'False castor oil plant' because it is somewhat similar in appearance.


Fatsia japonica grows in soils ranging from a pH of 5 (extremely acidic ranges from 0 to 5.1) to 8.5 (alkaline ranges from 8.1 to 8.5). It is adapted to chalk, clay, clay loam, loam, loamy sand, peat, sandy clay, sandy clay loam and sandy loam soils.


This is a erect shrub has a moderate rate of growth has an ultimate height of 4.5m / 14.8ft and spread of 3.5m / 11.5ft. It can take 11-15 years to reach its ultimate height.


It has green leaves. They are palmate in shape.


The plant prefers a sheltered situation.


Architectural, attractive foliage, bank and slope, borders, city courtyard garden, cottage informal garden, tropical effect and attracting bees.


The brown and green stems have a bumpy texture.

Fruit and seed

The fruit is black and yellow. There is a fruit/seed abundance beginning in Winter and ending in Winter.


Japan (Southern).

-15°C / 5F 5 to 8.5 11-15 years 4.5m / 14.8ft 3.5m / 11.5ft
Scientific classifications [Edit]
Genus ? Fatsia
Specific epithet ? japonica
Synonyms (other names) [Edit]
  • Aralia sieboldii
  • Aralia japonica
Common names
Japanese aralia (United Kingdom), False castor oil plant (Ireland)
User notes have orange headings. All other information is made up from editing attributes. IPNI details on Fatsia japonica
    References [edit] ?

    Plant added by plantdatabase

    Fatsia japonica http://plantdatabase.co.uk/Fatsia_japonica
    © Plant Database Ltd., 25th July 2014     Web: http://plantdatabase.co.uk     Email: mail@plantdatabase.co.uk
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