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Flora of Scotts Creek Watershed

Flowers Leaves Leaves2 Streamfull Topview On Hillside Berries

Aralia californica - California Spikenard

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Family Name: Araliaceae

Common Names: California Spikenard, Elk's Clover, Prairie Sagewort, California Aralia

Origin: Native to California

Habitat: Moist shaded places, canyons, streamsides, where roots can reach flowing water. Below 2000 m.

Life Form and Duration: Perennial Shrub or small tree, 1-3 m

Comments on overall growth: Stem erect, branched, fleshy. May be considered a large herb since the stems do not become woody. Grows from large roots, with milky juice, very full with large leaves.

Foliage Type: Deciduous

Foliage Description: Large leaves, whole is 1-2 m long with petiole up to 30 cm long. 2 times pinnately compound with 3-5 leaflets per division. Leaflets 15-30 cm long, oblong to ovate, margin toothed, hairless, base sub-cordate.

Infloresence Description: Spreading panicle of umbels, 30-50 cm long. Umbels round in form, ball-like, made up of numerous flowers.

Flower Description: Flowers small, white, 5 petaled, petals 2-3 mm long.

Flowering Season: June-August

Fruit Type: Berry

Fruit Description: Dark purple to black, 3-5 mm diameter, with 3-5 seeds.