Aralia racemosa

American Spikenard

Plant Type:


Aralia racemosa – American Spikenard, native to North America, is a large growing perennial that takes on the affect of a shrub in the summer garden. Flowering from June to August American Spikenard's showy flowers are like balls of refined, white sparklers all along a stem that can stretch for a couple of feet. A well-grown specimen in full bloom is eye-popping. The late season constellations of purple-black fruits, reminiscent in color and texture to that of Elderberry, adds another seasonal show. Also called Life-of-man, its bold compound foliage is comprised of 9 to 21 serrated leaflets. Provide rich, moisture-retentive soil in dappled to morning sun, bright open shade but protect from harsh afternoon sun. The large aromatic roots, with their heady root beer fragrance have been employed in teas and in flavoring sodas. Seed grown.


3-5 ft


4-6 ft



Characteristics and Attributes for Aralia racemosa

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Late Spring / Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer

Autumn Interest

  • Fruit / Berries / Seed Heads

Nature Attraction

  • Songbirds
  • Honey Bees & Native Bees


  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Dappled Shade


  • Wildlife Garden
  • Specimen
  • Hedgerow
  • Woodland

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Rapid


  • Fertile
  • Woodland


  • North America

Propagated By

  • By Seed / Potted