Deciduous shrubs or small trees (many species herbaceous), sometimes with cortical prickles. Twigs often thick, rounded; pith large, continuous. Leaf-scars alternate, crescent-shaped, half-encircling the twigs; bundle-traces about 15, in a single series; stipule-scars none.

Fig. 228. Aralia spinosa

Fig. 228. Aralia spinosa.

Fig. 229. Aralia hispida

Fig. 229. Aralia hispida.

a.

Tree or shrub, stem thick, prickly

1.

A. spinosa

a.

Subshrub, stem moderate, bristly

2.

A. hispid a

1. A. spinosa L. Hercules' Club. A shrub or tree, up to 10 m. high, with very prickly stems; branches gray or straw-colored, glabrous; umbels numerous, in compound panicles, persistent into winter. Rich woods, Florida to Texas, north to New Jersey, New York, Illinois and Iowa; escaped from cultivation farther north (Fig. 228).

2. A. hispida Vent. Bristly Sarsaparilla. Stem 2-9 dm. high, bristly, scarcely woody. Rocky woods and clearings, Newfoundland to Manitoba, south in the mountains to North Carolina (Fig. 229).