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A picture of a False Castor Oil Plant

False Castor Oil Plant

Fatsia japonica

Also known as

Japanese Fatsia, Japanese Aralia, Fatsi, Fig-Leaf Palm, Glossy-Leaved Paper Plant, Paperplant, Castor oil plant, Aralia, Glossy-leafed paper plant

Fatsia japonica.003 - Zapateira by Drow male (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of False Castor Oil Plant

A photo of False Castor Oil Plant
A photo of False Castor Oil Plant
A photo of False Castor Oil Plant
A photo of False Castor Oil Plant
A photo of False Castor Oil Plant

False Castor Oil Plant Overview

Fatsia japonica is an evergreen shrub with large, distinctive, leathery, dark green leaves which are glossy and deeply lobed. It produces spherical white-cream flowers in dense clusters during the latter months of the year, followed by small black fruits. It has an open, spreading habit and is commonly grown as a garden ornamental, particularly suitable for shaded areas. It was favoured in the UK by the Victorians and Edwardians due to its fine architectural qualities! Commonly known by the names False Castor Oil Plant, Japanese Aralia and Japanese Fatsia, amongst others, it is at home in informal flower beds and urban courtyard gardens alike, and can be grown to good effect in large containers (but don't let it dry out - or become waterlogged). Very versatile, it is also useful for growing in groups on slopes or banks and adds an exotic feel to a garden, while being hardy! (It can also be grown as a houseplant where it is good for cleaning up household formaldehyde pollution.) Unusually, Fatsia japonica is happy in a sunny or shady position - it even shines out in deep shade - and it likes moist, well-drained soil. A useful and lovely shrub, Fatsia japonica has earned a coveted 'RHS Award of Garden Merit' and is on the RHS 'Plants for Pollinators' list, highlighting plants that produce large amounts of nectar and/or pollen. A great choice for encouraging beneficial insect wildlife into your garden!

Common problems with False Castor Oil Plant

They're rarely bothered by pests and diseases.

How to propagate False Castor Oil Plant


Take semi-hardwood cuttings in summer.


Special features of False Castor Oil Plant

Attracts bees

Attractive leaves

Pot plant

Winter colour

Attracts butterflies

Attracts useful insects

Autumn colour

Ground cover

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