Fatsias are grown for their architectural use in the garden. Their large, attractively shaped, evergreen leaves give lush colour all year and their large size from a small base can give necessary height. They do put up a flower stalk which seeds rapidly with large black seeds which readily self sow. The small plant featured here (covered in bird lime as it sits under the tree many sparrows roost in) sowed itself into a pot and has been potted on several times. The plant it came from is directly into the ground. I don’t think it much likes the thin chalky soil as all the leaves tend to yellow. (Dying leaved go from yellow to brown as they dry out).
For years I called this a ‘castor oil plant’, which is quite wrong (that shrub produces the deadly poison ricin in its seeds). This plant is the ‘false’ caster oil plant.
Japanese Fatsia Fatsia japonica
The spindle tree below is another grown for its all year green leaves and backdrop. It can be used as a hedging plant as it tends to keep its leaves even at almost ground level. It is happy to be clipped too. We transferred this one from an indoor pot we ‘inherited’ into the ground unsure whether it would cope outside. It proceeded to quadruple in height!
Japanese Spindle Euonymus japonicus