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common name: Rice Paper Plant, Toong Shue
synonyms: Tetrapanax papyrifera, Tetrapanax papyriferus, Tetrapanax papyriferum, Aralia papyrifera, Fatsia papyrifera
growth rate: fast
leaf colour: green
flower colour: white
fruit colour: black
stem/bark: brown & green
main season: All Year
full sun, part shade
moist soil, clay soil, sandy soil
preferred soil pH: any
minimum temp: 2°C
USDA zone: 10 to 11
Tender large shrub or small tree, often suckering vigorously. Huge, deeply lobed leaves giving a very exotic appearance. The young emerging leaves are thickly covered with white felted hairs. Large loose panicles of creamy white rounded flowerheads in autumn, developing to black seeds.
Best in moist, humus-rich, fertile soil and sun or part shade. Will tolerate a range of soil conditions but needs a warm climate. However the rootsock appears to be more frost hardy than originally believed and established plants will often re-shoot after the stems have been cut back in winter.
From seed or by separation of suckers.
Architectural plant for tropical plantings.
The inner pith of the stems is used to make "rice paper", commonly cultivated for this purpose in China.
From Taiwan and possibly Southeastern China.
Closely related to Fatsia japonica.