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a genus of plants of the family Araliaceae. They are small trees, thorny bushes, or tall perennial grasses. The flowers occur in umbels, often in complex paniculate inflorescences, and, less frequently, singly or in racemes. There are 35 species in the tropics and subtropics of the northern hemisphere. In the USSR there are five species in the Far East. Many varieties of Aralia are cultivated in greenhouses as decorative plants; in the southern USSR, they grow outdoors.
Several species of other genera in the same family are also known as aralia. The rice-paper tree (Tetrapanax papyriferum) is a small tree native to the island of Taiwan. In China, paper is made from the pulp of its trunk. In the USSR, the rice-paper tree may be cultivated on the Black Sea shore of the Caucasus. Japanese aralia (Fatsia japonica) is a small tree native to Japan. In the USSR it is widely cultivated as an indoor and hothouse plant; in the Black Sea shore region of the Crimea and the Caucasus it grows outdoors.
REFERENCESDerev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 5. Moscow-Leningrad, 1960.
Kiselev, G. E. Tsvetovadstvo. Moscow, 1964.