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Sarsaparilla, Wild - Aralia nudicaulis

Sarsaparilla, Wild - Aralia nudicaulis

Aralia nudicaulis, or Wild Sarsaparilla, is a perennial wildflower native to Michigan and the UP. Wild sarsaparilla is a member of the ginseng family. The common name refers to the former use of the plant's root as a substitute for tropical sarsaparilla in making root beer.   It flowers in late May or June. After blooming, purplish-black berries grow in clusters.  The foliage is bronze in the spring, filling out to a lush green with white fireworks flowers occurring under the umbrella of leaves.


Typically 8 to 15” tall, this plant prefers moist deciduous or mixed forest habitat. Wild sarsaparilla will grow in light sandy, loamy, rocky, or heavy clay soils, even if they are nutritionally poor. It tolerates acid, neutral, and basic soils, but prefers full shade to semi-shaded areas. It makes a great understory or soft landing plant beneath your trees. It is shown in several of the pictures as part of a ground cover with Canada Mayflower and Gold Thread.


At, Wild Sarsaparilla root is reported to be useful for a refreshing herbal tea or root beer, and the fruit can be used to make a jelly and wine. Like many of our woodland UP species, Illinois Wildflowers reports that there is little data about this plant's use by insects, but it is likely to be pollinated by native bees who specialize in our early woodland plants. The berries are eaten by birds and mammals.


We do not ship this plant.

  • Updated

    This product page was last updated on February 26, 2024.

PriceFrom $9.50
Excluding Sales Tax |
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