Name: Aralia cordata ‘Sun King’ aka: golden Japanese Spikenard (frankly, I think that Aralia ‘Sun King’ is easier to remember than the common name…)
Type of Plant: Perennial for shade – hardy zones 3-9
Why I love this: Anyone with a shade garden is always looking for more plants with colorful flowers or foliage… preferably not another Hosta, much as we love them. If you’re in that same boat, have I got a shade plant for you! This plant is bright golden and does best if it receives about 4 hours of direct sun at some point in the day.
A friend took a look at ‘Sun King’ the other day and asked, “Does it bloom?” My immediate response was “Who cares?” but in reality, it has small, fluffy spires of white flowers later in the summer and purple black berries in early fall.
A Word to the Wise: Although you might read elsewhere that this perennial grows three feet tall and wide, in my garden it is already 4 feet wide and it’s only three years old. So place it where it has room to spread.