Content Detail

Siebold’s shrub-ginseng, also known as five-leaved aralia, is an upright, deciduous shrub reaching 8 to 10 foot high and wide. Medium green, palmately compound leaves hold late into fall. Stout gray arching stems have thorns, making it a good barrier shrub.

  • Family (English) Ginseng
  • Family (botanic) Araliaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium shrub (5-8 feet), Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Dry sites, Road salt
  • Season of interest mid spring
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Arching, Multi-stemmed, Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate

Size & form: 

Siebold’s shrub-ginseng is an upright, 8 to 10 foot tall shrub with arching branches.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Native to Japan and China.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

The berries attract birds.

Bark color and texture: 

The bark is light brown with arching prickles.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

Alternate, palmately compound leaves have five to seven leaflets that are bright green changing to yellow in the fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

Dioecious, small, greenish-white 1 inch umbels form at branch tips.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions: 

The fruit is a 1/4 inch diameter shiny black berry.

Plant care:

Adaptable to sun or shade, this shrub is tolerant of poor soils and varying pH levels. It benefits from occasional rejuvenation pruning. Plants can sucker and may need to be kept in bounds.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Siebold’s shrub-ginseng has no serious pest or disease problems. It is resistant to drought, deer, and air pollution once established.

Variegated Siebold’s shrub-ginseng (Eleutherococcus sieboldianus ‘Variegatus’):

A vigorous 6 to 8 foot tall shrub that has variegated, creamy-white foliage.


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