Aralia spinosa L.

Devil’s Walking Stick, Hercules Club

Spring 2014

Spring 2014

Family: Araliaceae

Genus: Aralia

Category: Tree - Deciduous

Zones: 4 to 9

Size: To 15' tall, 6' wide

Growth Rate: Slow

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


Large compound leaves to 3' long. Tall thorny stems. White flowers in clusters to 3' tall in summer, followed by black fruit. Suckers and needs a lot of space - but Bob McCartney suggests growing it as an isolated specimen in a mowed lawn area.


Native from Florida to New Jersey.

Published in Sp. Pl. 1: 273 in 1753.

Introduced in 1688. RHS Award of Merit in 1974 for fruit.


My Experience: 

I purchased a 1-gallon plant at Woodlanders in May 2013 and planted it in the Gumball Border Garden. It was immediately eaten and disappeared. I thought it was dead but it came back in spring 2014.

Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner