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Looking for something uniquely different for shade?  Try this tropical-looking golden beauty with large compound leaves that measure up to 3 feet long! 

An excellent complement to hostas and woodland perennials, ‘Sun King’ emerges mid-spring with bright gold leaves held on nicely contrasting reddish brown stems.  If given at least a few hours of sun a day, the foliage will remain yellow all summer.  In heavier shade, the foliage ranges from chartreuse to lime green. 

This plant quickly forms a large clump of foliage which amazingly resists deer browsing.  It reportedly grows just three feet tall and wide, though many plantsmen believe it will grow larger over time. 

In mid to late summer, interesting racemes of tiny white flowers are produced followed by deep purplish black, inedible berries.  Like most Aralias, the flowers attract honeybees.  


This unique perennial grows best in part to light shade, though if given consistent moisture it can also grow in full sun.  It prefers richly organic, deep loamy soil that is moist but well-drained.  This plant is not drought tolerant.  It typically dies back to the ground in winter and re-emerges in spring to quickly form a shrub-like clump. 

Aralia cordata 'Sun King'

SKU: 3299763058861
  • Common Name

    Golden Japanese Spikenard

    Plant Type Perennial
    Zone 3-9
    Height 3'
    Spread 3'
    Growth Habit Upright
    Growth Rate



    Bloom Time Midsummer
    Late Summer

    Part Shade (4-6 hrs. Direct Sun)

    Water Needs

    Average Water Needs

    Consistent Water Needs

    Soil Type

    Average Soil Quality

    Fertile Soil Quality


    Border Plant

    Attractive Foliage


    Focal Point

    Origin Not Native to North America
    Attracts Wings: 

    Attracts Honeybees.                       

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