Araliaceae (ivy) family
Also known as
Tetrapanax papyrifer, Aralia papyifera, Fatsia papyifera
Where is it originally from?
South China, Taiwan
What does it look like?
An evergreen, rounded shrub or small tree up to 8 m tall. Stems are densely covered in hairs when young, becoming more or less hairless with prominent leaf scars when older. Leaves are large and rounded heart-shaped, with toothed margins and (3-12) deep lobes (indented 1/3-2/3 of leaf radius). They are densely hairy on both surfaces when young, becoming more or less hairless above when mature, and are held on long leaf stalks (10-50 cm). Tiny white flowers are held in white, woolly, ball-like clusters on a large, branched stem that extends beyond the foliage. The flowers appear in autumn and are followed by clusters of spherical black berries (3 mm diameter).
Are there any similar species?
T. papyriferus can be distinguished from similar Fatsia, Pseudopanax and Schefflera species by its hairy and deeply lobed (rather than compound) leaves.
Why is it weedy?
Tolerates part shade. Vigorous growth rate. Grows into thickets by suckering.
How does it spread?
Spreads by suckers up to 2 m long.
What damage does it do?
Can shade out native plants. Contact with foliage can cause skin rash.
Which habitats is it likely to invade?
Disturbed forest and shrubland, forest margins, stream banks, urban areas, roadsides and wasteplaces.
What can I do to get rid of it?
Dig out isolated plants or small patches, and remove root system when soil soft.
What can I do to stop it coming back?
Monitor the site and treat any regrowth. Plant a cover of native trees or shrubs to produce shade.