Fatsia, Glossy Paper Plant
Fatsia japonica (also known as Japanese aralia, Aralia japonica, or Paper Plant) looks like it belongs in a Jurassic jungle with its wide, deeply-lobed glossy green leaves and bold tropical structure. ‘Fatsi’ loosely translated is Japanese for ‘eight’, referring to the eight lobes present in each leaf. This shade lover is prized for its unusual structure, large mature size and unusual white globe-like flowers and black berries. This plant can reach heights of 10 feet and widths of 7 feet, so plan accordingly. Situate in a large shady protected site, as the leaves will brown if exposed to excessive sun or wind. Though its growing zone is 8-10, it does grow in zone 7 if planted against a sheltered warm wall or tucked in a corner. Use as a centerpiece, as an understory plant, or combine in a large shady setting with other unique shade plants like acanthus mollis, carex grass, or farfugium for a truly special landscape. Also makes an excellent houseplant for those in colder growing zones.