Fine Art

Fatsia japonica

Fatsia japonica (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Campanulids
Ordo: Apiales

Familia: Araliaceae
Subfamilia: Aralioideae
Genus: Fatsia
Species: Fatsia japonica

Fatsia japonica (Thunb.) Decne. & Planch., Rev. Hort., IV, 3: 105. 1854.


Aralia japonica Thunb., Nova Acta Regiae Soc. Sci. Upsal. 3: 207. 1780.


Dimorphanthus japonicus (Thunb.) Endl., Cat. Horti Vindob. 2: 176. 1842.
Echinopanax japonicus (Thunb.) Kuntze, Revis. Gen. Pl. 1: 271. 1891.


Aralia sieboldii K.Koch, Wochenschr. Gärtnerei Pflanzenk. 2: 407. 1858.
Fatsia japonica f. albomarginata Nakai, J. Arn. Arb. 5: 16. 1924.
Fatsia japonica f. aureovariegata Nakai, J. Arn. Arb. 5: 17. 1924.
Fatsia japonica f. lobulata (Makino) Nakai, J. Arn. Arb. 5: 17. 1924.
Fatsia japonica f. undulata Nakai, J. Arn. Arb. 5: 17. 1924.
Fatsia japonica f. variegata (Veitch) Nakai, J. Arn. Arb. 5: 16. 1924.
Fatsia japonica var. liukiuensis Hatus. ex H.Ohba, Fl. Japan 2c: 262. 1999.
Fatsia japonica var. lobulata Makino, J. Jap. Bot. 1: 10. 1916.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Asie

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Decaisne, J. & Planchon, J.É., 1854. Rev. Hort. (Paris), sér. 4, 3: 105


Govaerts, R. et al. 2018. Fatsia japonica in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2018 Nov. 21. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2018. Fatsia japonica. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2018. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published online. Accessed: 2018 Nov. 21. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Fatsia japonica. Published online. Accessed: Nov. 21 2018.
The Plant List 2013. Fatsia japonica in The Plant List Version 1.1. Published online. Accessed: 2018 Nov. 21. 2018. Fatsia japonica. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 21 Nov. 2018.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Fatsia japonica (Thunb.) Decne. & Planch. in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 2013-11-05.
Fatsia japonica (Thunb.) Decne. & Planch. – Taxon details on Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS).
Fatsia japonica – Taxon details on National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).
EOL: Fatsia japonica

Vernacular names
Deutsch: Zimmeraralie
English: Fatsi, Japanese Aralia
suomi: Huonearalia
magyar: Japán arália
italiano: Aralia
日本語: ヤツデ
Nederlands: Vingerplant
svenska: Aralia
Türkçe: Fatsiya

Fatsia japonica, also glossy-leaf paper plant,[1] fatsi, paperplant, false castor oil plant,[2] or Japanese aralia, is a species of flowering plant in the family Araliaceae, native to southern Japan and southern Korea.[3]


The name fatsi is an approximation of the Japanese word for 'eight' (hachi in modern romanization), referring to the eight leaf lobes. In Japan it is known as yatsude (八つ手), meaning "eight fingers". The name "Japanese aralia" is due to the genus being classified in the related genus Aralia in the past. It has been interbred with Hedera helix (common ivy) to produce the intergeneric hybrid × Fatshedera lizei.

It is an evergreen shrub growing to 1–5 m (3 ft 3 in – 16 ft 5 in) tall, with stout, sparsely branched stems.[4] The leaves are spirally-arranged, large, 20–40 cm (7.9–15.7 in) in width and on a petiole up to 50 cm (20 in) long, leathery, palmately lobed, with 7–9 broad lobes, divided to half or two-thirds of the way to the base of the leaf; the lobes are edged with coarse, blunt teeth. The flowers are small, white, borne in dense terminal compound umbels in late autumn or early winter, followed by small black fruit in spring.[3]

It is commonly grown as an ornamental plant in warm temperate regions where winters do not fall below about −15 °C (5 °F).[5] F. japonica thrives in semi-shade to full-shade and is winter hardy in USDA Zones 8–10.[6] It can be grown as an indoor plant and has been shown to effectively remove gaseous formaldehyde from indoor air.[5]

This plant[7] and its cultivar F. japonica 'Variegata'[8] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[9]

An ornamental plant, F. japonica 'Spider's Web' (or 'Spider White') is a rare cultivar with variegated leaves. Slower growing than the original species, it reaches a lower maximum height of 2.5 m (8.2 ft) at maturity. The dark-green leaves are strongly white-flecked, particularly at the edges, though the white variegation may occasionally disperse across the whole leaf. The variegation may change with the seasons and as the plant ages. Terminal clumps of white flowers emerge in autumn, which are followed by black berries.[10]

While grown as a landscaping plant, it has also become naturalised in some areas. In New Zealand, it has become established in waste areas and abandoned gardens, spreading by suckers and prolific self seeding.

The sap, which is sticky and resinous, can cause contact dermatitis in sensitive people.[11]

Fruiting body

A small Fatsia japonica leaf

Close-up of flower umbel

Variegated leaves of F. japonica 'Spider's Web'

Fatsia 'Spider White'

See also

Ricinus, Ricinus communis, the castor bean or castor oil plant


Korea National Arboretum (2015). English Names for Korean Native Plants (PDF). Pocheon: National Arboretum. p. 347. ISBN 978-89-97450-98-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 May 2017. Retrieved 27 November 2016 – via Korea Forest Service.
DK Publishing (2011). Grow Plants in Pots. DK Publishing. p. 64. ISBN 978-0-7566-8711-3. "Fatsia japonica, or false castor oil plant"
"Fatsia japonica - Plant Finder". Retrieved 2021-02-25.
"Fatsia japonica (Big-leaf paper plant, Figleaf Palm, Formosa rice tree, Glossy-Leaved Paper Plant, Japanese Aralia, Japanese Fatsia, Paper Plant) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox". Retrieved 2021-02-25.
Kwang Jin Kim, Mi Jung Kil, Jeong Seob Song, Eun Ha Yoo, Ki-Cheol Son, Stanley J. Kays (July 2008). "Efficiency of Volatile Formaldehyde Removal by Indoor Plants: Contribution of Aerial Plant Parts versus the Root Zone". Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science. 133 (4): 521–526. doi:10.21273/JASHS.133.4.521. ISSN 0003-1062.
"Fatsia japonica – Plant Finder". Retrieved 2018-07-03.
"RHS Plant Selector – Fatsia japonica". Retrieved 2 July 2020.
"RHS Plant Selector – Fatsia japonica 'Variegata'". Retrieved 2 July 2020.
"AGM Plants – Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 39. Retrieved 26 February 2018.
"Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Web' (v) Japanese aralia 'Spider's Web'". Retrieved 31 August 2018.

Oka, K.; Saito, F.; Yasuhara, T.; Sugimoto, A. (April 1999). "The allergens of Dendropanax trifidus Makino and Fatsia japonica Decne. et Planch. and evaluation of cross-reactions with other plants of the Araliaceae family". Contact Dermatitis. 40 (4): 209–213. doi:10.1111/j.1600-0536.1999.tb06036.x. ISSN 0105-1873. PMID 10208509. S2CID 40943286.

Further reading

Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan.
Fatsia japonica, BBC Gardening
Poplay, I. et al. (2010). An illustrated Guide to Common Weeds Of New Zealand. 3rd ed. Pg. 36

Plants, Fine Art Prints

Plants Images

Biology Encyclopedia

Retrieved from ""
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

Home - Hellenica World