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Castor-aralia

Kalopanax pictus

Common Name: Castor-aralia (a.k.a. Castor-leaved aralia)
Scientific Name: Kalopanax pictus
Family: Araliaceae
Growth Form: Tree
Native Range: China, Korea, Japan
Invasive Range: Boston area
Introduction: The Castor-aralia escaped from cultivation and is distributed by birds who are attracted to the fruit. 
Description: ·Leaves: Grow out of alternate whorls, simple, 5-7 palmate lobes, 16-26 cm (7-12 in.).  Dark, glossy green; yellow or red in fall.

·Twigs: Brown, very thick.

·Bark: Grows to be 13-20 m (40-60 ft.) tall.  Deeply ridged and furrowed.  Bark brown or black.  Shoots have thorns, even on young trees.

·Flowers: Appear July through August.  White, 2-3 cm (1 in.) in diameter.  At end of 14-28 cm (1-2 ft.) stalk.  Large bundles 14-28 cm (1-2 ft.) in diameter.

·Fruit: Appear in early fall.  Black.  1 cm (0.5 in.). Eaten by birds.
Threats: The Castor-aralia casts dense shade, stunting the growth of native vegetation.
Fun Facts: The Castor-aralia is commonly used as commercial timber.  In Asian medicine the bark of the stem is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis
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Whole Tree
Leaf
Leaf Glands
Bark
Whole tree
Bark with thorns and whorl
Young tree
Bark with thorns and leaf whorl