Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Nothopanax Delavayi

Nothopanax delavayi in bloom in my garden
     Another evergreen shrub or small tree in the great aralia family is Nothopanax delavayi.  This is a plant that Sean Hogan gave me a number of years ago in a small 4 inch pot and you can see from the picture that it has done quite well in my garden.  I should note that there does not seem to be agreement among the plant gurus I know as to the proper name for this shrub.  While Sean has told me again and again that it is indeed Nothopanax delavayi and that is what he says it is in his book  'Trees For All Seasons',  Dan Hinkley has told me that it is Metapanax delavayi and that is what he calls it in his book 'The Explorer's Garden- Shrubs and Vines'.  Well, whatever it is, it is a great shrub.
     As I said, it is in the aralia family so it is related to Scheffleras which I blogged about here; to Tetrapanax which I blogged about here; and to Sinopanax which I blogged about here.  There seem to be a lot of plants whose names end in panax and you can be sure that they will all be good plants.  In addition to the tetrapanaxes, sinopanaxes, and nothopanaxes, there are the metapanaxes, the dendropanaxes, the pseudopanaxes and the oplopanaxes.  Indeed, Oplopanax horridus is our own native panax which many a hiker in northwest woods knows as the Devil's Walking Stick.  I wouldn't be surprised if there are other panaxes that I am not familiar with.
     This Nothpanax which is growing in my garden has done very well and has never suffered from the cold in all the time I have grown it.  Sean says it is hardy to below 0 degrees F.  It looks good all year round.  In the winter, the leaves remain on it and stay green. In the spring the new growth has a reddish tint to it which is very attractive, and in late summer the flowers on it look good. When you walk by this shrub when it is in flower the sound of the bees buzzing as they gather its nectar is amazing.
     Nothopanax delavayi can be pruned much like you would prune a Fatsia, to which it is also related.  It can basically be cut down and growth will break from any branch.  It can be trained as a single trunked specimen or a multitrunked specimen as I have done.  It is growing in almost full sun in my garden, but it will also take shade, just like a Fatsia.
     If you wish to make this shrub more colorful, then I would suggest growing vines through it.  As you can see from the picture, I have tropaeolum speciosum growing in it.  Those are the red flowers you see in the right hand side of the picture.  I previously blogged about this vine here.  The red flowers you see in the lower left hand corner of the picture are those of Alstroemeria psittacina 'Variegata'.  The banana in the far right of the picture is a form of Musa sikkimensis which I will have a blog entry on in the future.


  1. I really need to move my little guy out of the stock tank it share with several big Tetrapanax. Thanks for the gentle nudge.

  2. I love mine, it grows very fast but stays very handsome year round