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Article: Sympathy for the Devil's Walkingstick, Aralia spinosa: The devil you know

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Forum: Article: Sympathy for the Devil's Walkingstick, Aralia spinosaReplies: 1, Views: 4
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Rochester, WA

January 29, 2011
3:38 AM

Post #8336362

Thanks to Sally Miller for the article on Aralia spinosa. I am currently writing a research paper on Oplopanax horridus (devil's club), a native of the Pacific Northwest. I had been told that it was sometimes confused with Aralia spinosa, but after reading the article and seeing the images, I find that hard to credit. Yes, they are both tall, rangy shrubs with spiny stems, but there the similarity ends. O. horridus has broad palmate (up to 15 inch diameter) leaves rather than tripinnately compound ones. The two plants may look similar when defoliated, but certainly not in full foliage! O.horridus also bears upright pyramidal clusters of greenish-white blossoms 3 to 6 inches long that are followed by bright red shiny berries. It really is a handsome plant, and extremely useful medicinally. Perhaps when I am finished with my paper I may share some of it if anyone is interested.


Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

January 29, 2011
6:56 AM

Post #8336588

Thank you for writing.
I agree the similarity is minor, although for the "uninitiated" I guess that is enough. Devil's club sounds just as interesting, if not more than, Walkingstick.

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