• Aralia racemosa


Aralia racemosa

Spikenard Description:

Aralia racemosa, also known as American spikenard, is a beautiful and practical native woodland plant that is highly valued for its medicinal properties. This shade-tolerant plant features tall, attractive foliage that blooms in the late summer and early fall, providing an excellent source of food for pollinators and wildlife.

Aralia racemosa is a drought-tolerant plant that is easy to grow and maintain, making it an ideal choice for woodland gardens, naturalized areas, and shady borders. Its tall stature and attractive foliage also make it an excellent choice for use as a background plant in mixed borders and other garden settings.

In addition to its ornamental value, Aralia racemosa is also an edible and medicinal plant that has been used for centuries for its healing properties. The plant's roots have been used to treat a variety of ailments, including arthritis, coughs, and colds.

Overall, Aralia racemosa is a valuable and beautiful plant that is perfect for gardeners who appreciate North American native plants with medicinal and wildlife-friendly value. Its attractive foliage, late-blooming flowers, and drought-tolerant nature make it a must-have for any shade garden or naturalized area.

Native Range:

Spikenard's range is concentrated in the central and Eastern United States. It's range is most common in the northern areas of this range, in states like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Maine.

Standard Plant Information:

Plant Height: 3' - 7' 

Bloom Time: July

Preferred Habitat: Does well in part shade to full shade, in rich woodland habitats.


For most homeowners, the best option is to scatter seed on the ground by hand broadcasting at a minimum of 16-64 pls ounces per acre.  For even coverage, we recommend that you broadcast seed in perpendicular rows across the site to ensure even coverage.

You’ll want to broadcast any grass seed first, which will get raked into the soil lightly. Next, it is ideal to mulch the area lightly with either a clean (no seed) straw or preferably with our native Little Bluestem straw, sold at our retail garden centers. After a light mulching is complete, now it’s time to broadcast your native wildflower seeds, which should not be raked into the soil. A good rain or watering is sufficient to cover the seed.


Simply dig a hole in the soil slightly larger than the plant’s roots. Ensure that the soil line of the plant is maintained during the transfer (i.e. the plant should be at the same level with the ground as it was in the pot). Pack any loose dirt back around the plant and make sure you water it well the same day to ensure it has the best chance of survival.

maps used with permission from MN Wildflowers

Aralia racemosa Gallery

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