Fatsia

(from a Japanese name). Araliaceae. This genus is doubly interesting as producing the famous rice paper of the Chinese, and two superb rivals of the castor oil plant in bold, subtropical effects, made by large leaves. which spread out like fingers. Fatsia has 3 species of trees or small shrubs belonging to the Panax series, in which the petals are valvate, while in the Aralia series they are more or less overlapping, but the sides affixed at the base. Within the Panax series, Panax itself has the pedicel articulated under the flower, while in Fatsia and Acanthopanax the pedicel is continuous with the flower. Fatsia is distinguished from the hardier and less familiar but worthy Acanthopanax by the greater length and distinctness of the styles. While Fatsias require more care in the North than the hardy Aralias, their massive, subtropical appearance is highly distinct.