This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Aralia spinosa L. Sp. Pl. 273. 1753.
A shrub or tree, reaching a maximum height of about 40o and trunk diameter of 12' but usually much smaller. Stem, branches and petioles spiny; leaves long-petioled, bipinnate, usuallly with a leaflet at the base of each pinna; leaflets ovate, thick, acute or acuminate, stalked, serrate, dark green above, glaucous and sometimes slightly pubescent beneath, 1'-4' long; umbels very numerous, in terminal compound panicles; involucels of several short bractlets; peduncles and pedicels pubescent; flowers white, 2" broad; pedicels 3"-4" long in fruit; fruit ovoid, black, 5-lobed, about 3" long; styles distinct.
In low grounds and along streams, southern New York to Florida, west to Indiana, Missouri and Texas. Freely planted for ornament, and sometimes escaping from cultivation further north. June-Aug. Wild orange. Pick or pigeon-tree. Prickly elder. Prickly ash. Toothache-tree.
Aralia racemosa L. Sp. Pl. 273. 1753- Herbaceous, divergently much branched, unarmed, 3°-6° high, glabrous or slightly pubescent. Roots large and thick, aromatic; leaves ternately or rarely quinately compound, the divisions pinnate; leaflets broadly ovate or orbicular, thin, acuminate at the apex, cordate at the base, 2'-6' long, sharply and doubly serrate, sometimes pubescent on the veins beneath; umbels numerous,racemose-paniculate; peduncles and pedicels puberulent; involucels of a few subulate bractlets; flowers greenish, about 1" broad; fruit nearly globular, dark purple or reddish-brown, about 3" in diameter; styles united below.
In rich woods, New Brunswick to Georgia, Minnesota, South Dakota and Missouri. July-Aug. Spignet. Spicebush. Petty morel. Life-of-man. Old maid's-root.
Araha nudicaulis L. Sp. Pl. 274. 1753.
Aralia nudicaulis prolifera A. C. Apgar, Bull.
Torr. Club 14: 166. 1887. A. nudicaulis elongata Nash, loc. cit. 20: 374. 1893.
Acaulescent or nearly so. Rootstock long; leaf arising with the peduncle from the very short stem, both sheathed at the base by dry thin scales; petioles erect, 6'-12' long; primary divisions of the leaf ternate, slender-stalked, pinnately 3-5-foliolate; leaflets oval, ovate or ovate-lanceolate, acuminate, finely serrate. 2'-5' long; umbels commonly 3, simple, rarely compound; involucre none; pedicels slender, glabrous; flowers greenish, \\" broad; fruit globose, purplish-black, about 3" long, 5-lobed when dry.
Aralia hispida Vent. Hort. Cels, pl. 41. 1800.
Erect, leafy, 1°-3° high, the stem and petioles hispid with slender bristles. Leaves bipinnate; leaflets ovate or oval, acute, glabrous or pubescent on the veins beneath, sharply serrate, 1'-2' long; umbels several, slender-peduncled, simple; pedicels glabrous; flowers white, 1" broad; fruit dark purple, 3"-4" in diameter, strongly 5-lobed when dry.