Spiny Aralia
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Spiny Aralia
P Native Photo: Momang Taram
Common name: Spiny Aralia • Adi: Tataterang
Botanical name: Aralia armata    Family: Araliaceae (Ivy family)
Synonyms: Aralia tengyuehensis, Panax armatus

Spiny Aralia is a shrub up to 4 m tall, with branches carrying conic, often recurved prickles shorter than 4 mm. Leaves are 2- or 3-pinnately compound, with a pair of accessory leaflets at each division of axis; leaf-stalk to 100 cm, armed; leaflets 5-9 per pinna, ovate-oblong, 4-11 × 2-5 cm, papery, both surfaces hairy, base rounded to heart-shaped, margin sawtoothed, tip tapering. Flowers are borne in branch-end panicle of umbels, hairless or velvet-hairy, with recurved prickles; primary axis to about 40 cm; ultimate axes with a at branch-ends umbel of bisexual flowers and several lateral umbels of male flowers; bracts falling off, linear, 1.2-2.5 mm. Umbels are 20-50-flowered, flower-stalks 1-1.5 cm, with thin prickles and stout trichomes. Fruit is spherical, about 4 mm in diameter, styles persistent. Spiny Aralia is found in forests in valleys, forest margins; below 1600 m, in East Himalaya, India, China, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam. Tender shoots are used as vegetable. Flowering: August-October.

Identification credit: Momang Taram Photographed in Upper Siang Distt. & Papum Pare distt., Arunachal Pradesh.

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