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Australia Au

I'd love to know the botanical name for a plant a friend of mine has sent me a photo of - she calls it her 'hand plant'.
Any ideas?




Fatsia japonica--in America, we call it Japanese Aralia, in the UK, they call it the False Castor Bean. It's a lovely evergreen shrub, as long as the summer nights don't go over 30º C, and the winter nights don't go much below -7º. If the summer days go much over 37º, it will need shade at least in the afternoon.

8 Oct, 2017


Erm, no we don't call it False Castor Bean in the UK, Tugbrethil - if its got a common name, mostly its castor oil plant (probably because its confused with Ricinus) and, rarely, false aralia, and as far as I know, never castor bean. I think 'false castor bean' is American... but I think its just as common for it to be called Fatsia (without the japonica bit) as castor oil plant here.

This one's a particularly attractive specimen though, whatever people call it!

8 Oct, 2017


Sorry, Bamboo. I've seen several variations on Castor Oil or Castor Bean--False or not--from members from the UK on this site, and I just picked the one which came to mind first. Of course, that doesn't mean it isn't an imaginary combo that no one uses! :)

9 Oct, 2017


Fatsia japonica is the false castor oil plant to distinguish it from Ricinus communis, the castor oil plant.

Bamboo is right that garden centres often sell it as Fatsia because, my guess would be, they don't like to sell things called 'false'. They do, sometimes, sell it as castor oil plant leading to confusion.

9 Oct, 2017

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