Rice paper plant

Rice paper plant from Karen in SC

This is a plant I saw recently at the University of SC in Columbia. It has small black berries but I don’t see any flower buds. I love the look of the leaf and wondered what it was.

Thank you,
Karen M

Hi Karen,

This is not a native plant, but it is rather often cultivated in South Carolina.  It is Fatsia japonica, sometimes called the ‘rice paper plant’.  A very nice, evergreen, relatively slow growing and problem free species.  It is distantly related to ginseng, Panax quinquefolius.  As you suggest, it is usually grown for its attractive leaves.  I hope this helps!
Steve Hill  – South Carolina Native Plant Society [SCNPS]
Dr. Steven R. Hill
University of Illinois
Champaign, Illinois

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