En EspaŅol
Aralia racemosa (American spikenard) | NPIN

NPIN: Native Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Search native plant database:
See a list of all Plants

Aralia racemosa (American spikenard)
Bruso, George H.

Aralia racemosa

Aralia racemosa L.

American spikenard

Araliaceae (Ginseng Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

The large, tapered flower clusters of this 2-5 ft. perennial are made up of many tiny white flowers, each with a tinge of yellow or green. They grow upright above large compound foliage on heavy, leafy stems. Purple-red berries are showy in fall. Spikenard lacks spines and has numerous flower umbels in large clusters.


Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Root Type: Tap
Leaf Shape: Ovate
Leaf Apex: Acuminate
Leaf Base: Oblique
Fruit: Purple
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul


USA: AL , AR , AZ , CO , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , PE , QC
Native Distribution: N.B. to Man., s. to GA, n. AR & n.e. KS
Native Habitat: Woodland

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, rich soil.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Divide old rootstocks when the plants go dormant in the fall. Plants may be slow to bloom after being disturbed. Propagation may be possible by seed.
Seed Collection: Seeds can be recovered fro the fruit by maceration and flotation.
Seed Treatment: Seeds may require cool-moist stratification.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Suppliers Directory

According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:

American Native Nursery - Quakertown, PA
Prairie Nursery - Westfield, WI

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Natural Biodiversity - Johnstown, PA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
* Available Online from Wildflower Center Store


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
* The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Recommended Species Lists

Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.

View Recommended Species page

Additional resources

USDA: Find Aralia racemosa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Aralia racemosa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Aralia racemosa


Record Modified: 2012-12-07
Research By: TWC Staff

Go back

© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center