Aralia chinensis, the Chinese Angelica Tree, is native to China and Vietnam. It is a fast-growing hardy deciduous medium-sized tree or large shrub. The foliage, blossoms, and fruit is very attractive. It has thorns. The Angelica Tree is very quick-growing and can rapidly grow to some size, often suckering from the base to form new growth. In autumn it loses all its leaves to reveal the sharp spines on its stems. Because of this deciduous and spiny habit it is often best sited towards the rear of a planting. Although completely hardy, its young growth is frost-tender so it will benefit - particularly in its first years - from the close proximity of other sheltering plants. In cultivation it is very easy to grow but the one thing it doesn't like is to be over-watered. Prefers a good deep loam and a semi-shady position. Requires a sheltered position. Plants are hardier when grown in poorer soils. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun so the bud break isn't accelerated in spring.
Uses: Primarily the young shoots and leave are used in stir fry or eaten fresh. Very widely used in Tibet.
How to grow:
Soak seed for 6 hours in water. Place in a zip-loc bag with a small amount of damp potting soil and place in the refrigerator for 3 months. Plant any that germinate in the refrigerator into pots. Plant remaining in pots after the cold treatment and keep at about 70°. Germination usually takes place within 1 - 4 months