How Tall Does Aralia Californica Get?
Aralia Californica is a deciduous, herbaceous, perennial plant that grows to a height of 2–3 m on thick, non-woody stems. The stems bear huge green pinnately complex or tri-pinnately compound leaves 1–2 m in length and 1 m in width, with leaflets measuring 15–30 cm in length and 7–15 cm in width.
When growing more than 2 m, the leaves are reduced to single leaflets to focus resources on the stem and flowers. The greenish-white flowers are produced in enormous compound racemes of umbels 30–45 cm in diameter at the top of the stem; each bloom is 2–3 mm in diameter and develops into little (3–5 mm) dark purple or black fruit, with 3–5 seeds per berry.
Aralia Californica is widespread throughout Central and Southern California and Oregon. Though there are populations as far south as Riverside and San Diego Counties, it is more prevalent in northern California’s colder, wetter regions. The berries of the shrub are consumed by birds.
The ideal temperature for germination is 0–50 °F. The seeds must be planted almost on the surface of the soil, and they will not sprout at a depth higher than their diameter. Slightly acidic soil is ideal; a pH of 5.5-7.0 has been shown to yield the highest germination rates. The sunlight requirements are considered to be weak.
What Does Aralia Californica Look Like?
Aralia Californica (Elk Clover) is a big deciduous perennial plant with thick stems producing enormous, pinnate or bipinnate, green leaves up to 6 feet (180 centimeters) long and 3 feet (90 centimeters) broad (90 cm). The 3-5 leaflets of the compound leaves, which are born atop long, arching, non-woody stems, produce an umbrella-like canopy.
The leaflets are stacked opposite one another, with an odd leaflet at the end. The leaves are highly variable in shape and size, but the central leaflet is typically the largest. The leaf margins are coarsely toothed, with the teeth pointing upward.
The greenish-white flowers are produced in enormous compound racemes of umbels 30–45 cm in diameter at the top of the stem; each bloom is 2–3 mm in diameter and develops into little (3–5 mm) dark purple or black fruit, with 3–5 seeds per berry.
The flowers are pollinated by bees and other insects. The fruit ripens in the autumn, turning black and releasing seeds that are dispersed by gravity and wind. It should be noted that the seeds themselves are very shiny, and thus may be mistaken for berries. The stem and the root system are fleshy and fragile, and the roots possess a milky white juice that contains a significant amount of the compound berberine.
Can You Eat Aralia Californica?
Aralia Californica is edible and the ripe berries, which are produced in abundance by this shrub, can be made into preserves and jellies. However, the ripe berries have a very bitter taste. The berries have significant therapeutic properties, but beware! Due to their astringent nature, eating them raw may cause your throat to get sore.
You should boil them, then drink the juice. The roots can be boiled and the decoction can be used to treat ailments such as diarrhea. Berberine, a powerful antibiotic and anti-inflammatory compound, is also found in the roots and leaves of this plant.
The leaves are used to make a drink that is good for the treatment of heart problems, and they can also be applied externally to heal wounds, stop bleeding and treat pain. The leaves are rich in vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron. Also, they contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
The berries contain high levels of vitamin C and are a good source of fiber. They are also rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, and anthocyanins, giving them their dark purple color. You should not eat the berries of this plant in large quantities because they contain compounds that are toxic to the kidneys.
What Is Aralia Californica Used For?
Aralia Californica is an herb that can be used in herbal medicine as an astringent and diuretic or to treat diarrhea. It is also added to cosmetic products such as soaps and creams to provide them with a pleasant aroma.
Another application of Aralia Californica is its use in the preparation of kinky hair care products, such as African and Caribbean hair care preparations. Its astringent property makes it ideal for this type of preparation.
Aralia Californica (California Spikenard) and its cousin from the east, Aralia racemosa, are both effective treatments for those with wet lung problems. It has both tonic and expectorant properties.
The syrup is particularly useful when first experiencing throat discomfort and a harsh, dry, and percussive cough. The following are some of the uses of Aralia Californica;
Use as medicinal:
Aralia Californica is used mainly as a diuretic and an astringent. It is also used to treat diarrhea, coughs, and stomach cramps. It is a powerful antioxidant and it helps to maintain the balance of pH levels in the body.
The juice of Aralia Californica can be used as a mouthwash or gargle, especially when treating sore throats. It also is used to treat diarrhea and as an expectorant. Aralia Californica has a powerful anti-inflammatory effect on the body, thus making it useful in cases of joint pain, asthma, arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases.
Use as food:
Aralia Californica is edible, and the ripe berries can be made into preserves and jellies. However, the ripe berries have a very bitter taste. The berries have significant therapeutic properties, but beware! Due to their astringent nature, eating them raw may cause your throat to get sore. You should boil it, then drink the juice.
Use as an air freshener:
The leaves are used to make a drink that is good for the treatment of heart problems, and they can also be applied externally to heal wounds, stop bleeding and treat pain.
The leaves are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and iron. Also, they contain significant amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
Use as a soap ingredient:
Aralia Californica is good for the skin, as it contains significant amounts of vitamin C and other antioxidants. It also finds use in the cosmetics and fragrance industry, where it is used as a component in soaps, creams, perfumes, and lotions.
Use in cosmetic products:
Aralia Californica is often used in cosmetic products such as soaps, creams, and perfumes. The astringent property makes it ideal for this type of preparation. It is also added to some hair care products for its moisturizing properties.
Use as a pesticide:
The root of Aralia Californica can be used as a natural pesticide on non-edible plants and crops. You will need to boil the roots before use, then spray on the leaves or other parts of the plant you wish to protect from pests or diseases. Aralia Californica is also an insect repellant. If you chew the leaves of this herb, this will repel insects from landing on you.
Use as a mosquito repellant:
The roots of this plant contain a very powerful chemical called berberine. The anti-fungal properties of the herb help to repel mosquitoes and other flying insects. This is also effective for repelling flies. The leaves or roots of Aralia Californica can be crushed and rubbed into the skin for protection against mosquitoes. This is a good method for protecting yourself against diseases such as malaria which is spread by mosquitoes.
Is Aralia Californica A Deer Resistant?
Aralia Californica is a deer-resistant plant. Deer do not like the smell of it, so they try to avoid it as much as possible. However, deer will consume the leaves and berries of this plant if there is nothing else to eat.
The berries are also poisonous to certain herbivores such as pigs and goats, so they should be kept out of the reach of these animals. Also, deer may try to consume Aralia Californica in large quantities if other food sources become scarce. Deer are generally reluctant to eat Aralia Californica unless they have no other choice.
Since Aralia Californica is a particularly attractive plant, deer and sheep may also use it as a bedding material. This may potentially result in deer or sheep knocking down or trampling over the plants, thus killing them.
While this herb is attractive to deer and other herbivores, it is also attractive to birds such as doves and quail. The deer are more likely to learn to avoid the plant because of this.
For those who are concerned about deer browsing in Aralia Californica, you can grow a fence around the edge of your garden and place a wire netting under the fence so that deer cannot climb over it.
How Do I Repot Aralia Californica?
Aralia Californica should be repotted every 2-3 years during spring or early summer. You should repot the Aralia Californica into a bigger container, which will give it more space to grow. Make sure that the soil is well-drained before placing your plant into a new container.
The best time to repot is during spring or early summer when the weather is still warm and there is plenty of sunlight to help stimulate growth. You should lightly loosen the soil with a spade and remove any rocks or sticks from the soil, then add more well-drained soil to the pot.
As Aralia Californica is a slow-growing plant, you will not need to repot this herb every year. The Aralia Californica should be in a transplant shock for 1-2 weeks after being repotted, so after repotting this herb you should place it in an environment with plenty of sunlight and keep the soil moist.
After repotting, you should add fertilizer to the plant, but ensure this is an organic fertilizer with low nitrogen content.
If you do not have time to repot Aralia Californica during early summer, then you should wait until late fall so that the roots of your plant can acclimate before planting them in a new pot. The following are the repotting processes;
- You should use a well-drained soil mix, which will prevent the potting soil from rotting. Make sure the soil mix has 3 parts sand, 1 part coarse soil, and 1 part loam.
- After repotting, you should water your Aralia Californica lightly to remove the old soil in the bottom of the container and to help form new roots.
- You should then add a water-soluble fertilizer to the plant.
- After repotting, you should then place your Aralia Californica outdoors for 1-2 weeks. If you are growing Aralia Californica for its ornamental features, then it is best to keep the plant in a container that has a large opening and a lid.
- After repotting, you should wait until spring to start growing the plant again.