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Polyscias fruticosa - (L.) Harms

Common Name Ming Aralia, Chinese Ariala
Family Araliaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction
Habitats Not known in a truly wild location
Range The plant probably arose through cultivation - it is grown in many parts of tropical Asia.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Polyscias fruticosa Ming Aralia, Chinese Ariala

Polyscias fruticosa Ming Aralia, Chinese Ariala


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Native to India, Polyscias fruticosa or also known as Ming Aralia is a tropical shrub or dwarf tree growing about 5 m in height and 2-3m in width. It has spreading branches and dark green and glossy leaves that are clustered near the tips. Ming Aralia has long been used in traditional medicine as a tonic, and noted to have anti-inflammation, anti-toxin, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It is also used against dysentery, neuralgia, rheumatism, and digestion-related ailments. Young leaves and shoots are cooked as vegetable and flavoring. Aside from the aforementioned uses, Ming Aralia is also grown for ornamental purpose as hedges. It can be grown from seeds or cuttings.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Polyscias fruticosa is an evergreen Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Aralia deleauana L.Linden Aralia fruticosa (L.) L.H.Bailey Aralia tripinnata Blanco Nothopanax fruti

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Leaves  Root  Shoots
Edible Uses: Condiment

Young leaves and shoots - cooked[301 ]. Steamed and eaten as greens or added to soups etc as a flavouring[46 , 301 , 658 ]. They have an aromatic flavour, reminiscent of parsley[46 , 301 ]. Leaves, young shoots, and also roots, are consumed raw or cooked as a vegetable and flavouring[46 , 317 ].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Analgesic  Diuretic  Febrifuge

The plant has been used for centuries in traditional medicine, where it is seen as being analgesic, febrifuge and diuretic[317 ]. The root has an agreeable and strongly aromatic smell, it tastes like parsley, and is used as a diuretic[459 ] The bark is used medicinally[459 ].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses


Agroforestry Uses: The plant is widely grown as a hedge in the tropics[200 , 317 ]. It is one of the most common hedges in the tropical lowlands[200 ]. Other Uses The plant is used for making joss sticks by the Buddhist monks in Cambodia[317 ].

Special Uses

Hedge  Scented Plants

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Succeeds in the tropics and the subtropics[658 ]. Prefers a position in bright shade or part sun[423 ]. Requires a well-drained, acid soil[658 ]. Plants can flower all year round[302 ]. Flowering Time: Early summer, Early fall, Early spring, Early winter, Late summer, Late fall, Late spring, Late winter, Mid summer, Mid fall, Mid spring, Mid winter(Mid Summer Late Summer/Early Fall). Bloom Color: White (Inconspicuous/none). Spacing: 36-48 in. (90-120 cm).

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

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Plant Propagation

Seed - best sown when fresh[658 ]. Stem cuttings. Cut off the tops of old plants which will in turn stimulate the formation of new growth. Use 10cm long shoots as cuttings. The optimal rooting temperature is with a bottom heat of 21 - 23°c[423 ]. Avoid heavy misting since the roots develop slower when the soil is waterlogged[423 ]. Avoid disturbing the plant roots during the propagation[423 ]. Root cuttings - these are made with 25mm long root segments. The top of the root should be level with the surface[423 ]. Air layering. Division of root suckers. Some cultivars produce an abundance of suckers that can be removed when their root system is developed.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Bebenu, Bebero, Berobero, Danidani, Denngi, Dinh lang, Geke, Goi ca, Kadongdong laut, Kobikobi, Kudu gerda, Kuku gerda, La nho, Lep krut, Ming aralia, Momotu, Nyia kalo, Paa, Panax, Pokok teh, Siku keluang, Tagitagi, Taqala, Tataqala, Te kaimamara, koppakola, ming aralia, nan yang shen, prickaralia, rötliche fiederaralie, teatree.

Native Range

TEMPERATE ASIA: China TROPICAL ASIA: India, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia (Jawa), Malaysia PACIFIC: Fiji

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Polyscias sambucifoliaElderberry PanaxShrub4.5 8-11 MLMHSNM003

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


(L.) Harms

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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