Spikenard

Botanical Name: Aralia racemosa

Height: Tall

Season of bloom: Summer.

Growing Conditions: Light shade. Moist organic soil.

Wildlife benefits: Small but abundant fruits in fall feed many species of birds.

From Ottawa Valley or eastern Ontario sources: Yes

Remarks: Small green or white summer flowers are not showy – the fruit is the thing. I am often asked about its edibility. Other plants in this genus have medicinal properties, so I wouldn’t eat a large quantity, but the fruit is very pleasant to nibble on – it taste like root beer.

Similar species: Wild Sarsaparilla. You might also like to look at Pokeweed.

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More plants for shady places.

Aralia