|Nothopanax delavayi in bloom in my garden|
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.