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Aralia spinosa

Devil's Walking Stick

Plant Type:


Aralia spinosa – Devil's Walking Stick is fascinating but not for the faint of heart! Coarse stalks armed with multitudes of sharp, raspy spines may grow to a staggering 20 feet though often top-off lower with foliage tufted at varying lenghts in a circle around stems with the final group set terminally. Leaves are ferny, pinnate compound and add a tropical air to this very hardy plant. Flowers are an amazing array of exploding fireworks in huge, branched structures that may stretch to 18 inches like a star cloud. Each constellation of florets, each little solar system tends to be pinkish-white and draw an amazing array of pollinators. One approaching a stand can hear the white noise (or maybe pink noise) from many feet away. These give way to small, round green "berries" which eventually turn purple-black as peduncles turn pink. Also called Hercules Club (I never thought Hercules was evil?) this is a woody plant that will quickly colonize an area becoming an impenetrable stand; therefore, careful consideration must be given when siting Aralia spinosa. Dirr states Devil's Walking Stick may want to continue gaining ground to "infinity". Native populations occur from Maine diagonally to Texas and east to Florida, north to Massachusetts encompassing parts of all these states except, apparently, Vermont and New Hampshire. Fertile soil in full sun to dappled and open shade. Established pot grown plant.

This from Mike H. on 4.21.2023: "Devils Walking Stick and Hercules Club (Zanthoxylem clava-herculis) are two different species. The latter is found only in the deep
coastal South. I have seen both of them here in Gainesville, FL.. By the way, I think Devils Walking Stick is gorgeous.
Mike H"



10-20 ft


40-60 ft


Light Pink, White
Item Description Price  
ARALSPIN Aralia spinosa (5 inch Square x 6 inch Tall - true 2 quarts / 1.8927 liters) $28.00

Characteristics and Attributes for Aralia spinosa

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Summer

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer

Interesting Bark

  • Thorny

Autumn Interest

  • Fruit / Berries / Seed Heads

Nature Attraction

  • Deer Resistant
  • Honey Bees & Native Bees


  • Full Sun
  • Shade


  • Massing
  • Wildlife Garden
  • Specimen
  • Screen
  • Natural Garden

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Rapid


  • Eastern U.S.

Propagated By

  • Division