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Plants are not very hardy outdoors in Britain and are normally best grown in a cool greenhouse, but in selected sites they can tolerate temperatures down to about -5°c. They are often cut back to ground level in cold winters but will normally regrow from the rootstock in the spring. The plant can, in fact, become invasive, spreading by means of a vigorous suckering rootstock. Plants are growing well at Menehay in Cornwall. A young specimen was seen at Hilliers Arboretum in April 1999. It had about 3 years of growth above ground and was growing in a sheltered but fairly sunny position with no sign of die-back[K]. Even more established plants can be found growing by a south-facing wall against a greenhouse at Cambridge Botanical Gardens. They had at least 4 years of growth above the ground in spring 1999 and were spreading at the roots[K]. Plants are much cultivated in China for the pith obtained from the stems, which is used to make 'rice paper'. A very ornamental plant, it is closely related to Fatsia japonica.The flowers are produced in autumn and are often damaged by frosts.
Problems, pests & diseases
Associations & Interactions
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Polycultures & Guilds
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