A genus of handsomely leaved plants belonging to the Aralia family, a name by which this genus is often known. They like a well-sheltered situation protected from strong winds, where, if given good soil and plenty of moisture, they form handsome objects, their large palmated shining green leaves creating a fine tropical effect. Fatsia papyrifera produces the rice paper used in oriental countries for making artificial flowers.
Fatsia Japonica and its variegated varieties are also very useful in tropical gardening, but as they are of slower growth and of dwarf habit should be planted near the margins of groups.
Another variety, Fatsia horrida, a native of the State of Washington, is of more spreading habit and has large palmated leaves three or more feet in width. Its stem is often too weak to sustain its large, heavy leaves and should be supported by a strong stake until its fourth or fifth year. This variety is thickly covered with stout sharp spines.
Propagate by cuttings of the root, an inch or more in length, placed in heat in early Spring, or by suckers growing from the base of the crown in Winter or early Spring.