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A picture of a Elk Clover

Elk Clover

Aralia californica

Also known as

Spikenard, California Spikenard, California Aralia

Aralia californica S.Watson (7983060403) by Udo Schmidt (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Partial Shade
Easy care
Moderate watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size









  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images of Elk Clover

A close up of some pink white Aralia californica flowers
A green Aralia californica plant with white flowers
A close up of some pink Aralia californica blooms
Some Aralia californica with green leaves

Elk Clover Overview

Aralia californica is a herbaceous perennial plant from the Araliaceae family. Commonly known by the names Elk Clover, Spikenard and California Aralia, amongst others. Originating from California and Oregon, this plant is found most commonly in the moist areas of northern California, particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is deciduous and typically grows to around 2-3m tall, producing thick, non-woody stems and large leaves divided into oppositely arranged leaflets measuring between 15-30cm in length. Stems end with a single leaflet, termed an odd arrangement. Small flowers are green-white to pink in colour, measuring around 0.2-0.3cm across, they are produced in showy sprays measuring approximately 30-45cm across. flowers lead onto small purple-black berry fruits containing between 3-5 seeds.

How to propagate Elk Clover


Special features of Elk Clover

Attractive flowers