Leucosceptrum japonicum "Silver Angel"

rouge21_gw(5)June 14, 2013

I really like my Aralia Sun King...it almost glows in the shade.

I see two other somewhat similar larger (a little bit shrub like?) shade perennials; both in the Leucosceptrum japonicum family


"Silver Angel" (Japanese Shrub Mint) and "Mountain Madness"

Just wondering if GW members have or have seen these plants in person.

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I have Leucosceptrum japonicum 'Gold Angel', which I planted last year. It survived being in my pot ghetto for much of the summer before I planted it in the fall. It is a lovely charteusy-gold color, even in medium shade with a bit of speckled morning sunlight under the branches of a maple and a dogwood with Hemlocks to the south (though it doesn't have much root competition since the maple is 4' lower on the other side of a wall.) It did get touched by an unusually late spring frost this year, so I might throw a towel over it in the future if frost is predicted, but it has grown well past the lightly damaged leaves in just a couple of weeks. Since this is its first growing season in the ground, I expect it to take off and provide a taller contast to the lower gold hosta and Hakonechloa/Japanese forest grass and the other darker green plants in the area once it has grown a bit more. It's supposed to grow to about 3'x3', and I expect that most years I won't see the flowers since they are really late as well as relatively unobtrusive. Here is my baby gold Leucosceptrum in the upper middle of the bed and a link to the post that caused me to plant it (though due to a tree removal, I ended up putting it in a different bed than originally planned.)

Here is a link that might be useful: New England gardening thread with Leucosceptrum comment

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 9:23AM
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You are the best nhbabs...great post with lots of worthwhile information.

Btw, do you have the similar "Aralia Sun King"? I ask as I planted 3 of them last summer (don't ask) and all easily made it through this past somewhat trying winter and all are growing vigorously. I have no other plant in this much shade whose foliage looks so dramatic. I am curious as to how large it can get in one growing season (zone 5).

The only thing it doesn't have which it appears that these Leucosceptrum japonicum do, are worthwhile flowers (although it may be the case that in my neck of the woods frost would kill it before flowers could happen).

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sun, Jun 16, 13 at 5:31

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 5:29AM
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I know that some Aralia do a lot of seeding around in my area, and since I don't know if 'Sun King' does, I haven't planted it. (I tend to avoid self-seeders since I don't deadhead consistently and live in an area with lots of woodland and infrequently mowed fields where I don't want more invasives than I already have.)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 8:38AM
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Of course not scientific but I have seen no evidence from my 3 Aralia specimens of it being anything but "well-behaved".

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sun, Jun 16, 13 at 9:06

    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 9:02AM
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I am following up with a late season photo of L. 'Gold Angel', located mid-photo, in line between the maple trunk in the back and the over-exposed Hosta in the front. This plant has been in the garden just about one year since it was planted late last fall. From October, 2013

It has lost more of its gold color than other gold-leaved plants in this bed, but is also in more shade, only getting a very small amount of dappled sun. I am considering moving it further forward in bed where it would get some morning sun and hope that will help it keep its gold color better. Difficult to see since they are pretty much past, but it does have the tail end of creamy flowers at the branch tips, though even when they are at their fullest, they are not particularly showy. From October, 2013

A few of the leaves seem to have picked up a hint of reddish tones, though fall color is not something I really expect of this plant.

I am impressed with the abuse that this plant has tolerated, having spent its first three months in my possession in a quite small pot, a late season planting, and vole tunneling its first winter or early spring, followed by a late frost that damaged its first leaves, though didn't kill it back to ground level. It moved past all these issues without a pause and has grown well during this growing season.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 10:31AM
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Thanks so much for the follow-up 'babs'.

I especially like the second photo...so nice seeing something w/o snow and ice ;)..

This post was edited by rouge21 on Sat, Dec 21, 13 at 19:59

    Bookmark   December 21, 2013 at 7:52PM
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One more follow-up on my Leucosceptrum 'Gold Angel' showing its current color and condition. Without the damage from voles it had during the winter of '12-'13, it is much more vigorous and full this season. The color is quite nice.
From early June 2014

Rouge - How did your Aralia 'Sun King' make it through this difficult winter?

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 3:15PM
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This is mine but do not know which one...Love the all gold!

    Bookmark   June 5, 2014 at 4:44PM
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