Aralia 'Sun King' named 2020 Perennial Plant of the Year

This large, vibrantly colored plant brightens up shady spots.


Proven Winners

The Perennial Plant Association revealed their pick Aug. 1 during the PPA National Symposium in Chicago.

'Sun King' has a tropical look, but it's a fast-growing perennial that's hardy to USDA Zone 3 and grows to about 3 feet high and wide or larger in some cases. The large compound leaves measure up to 3 feet long, as well.

According to Walters Gardens, 'Sun King' emerges in mid-spring with bright gold leaves held on contrasting reddish-brown stems. If given at least a few hours of sun a day, the foliage will remain yellow all summer. In heavier shade, the foliage ranges from chartreuse to lime green.

It forms a large clump of foliage and produces racemes of small white flowers in mid to late summer followed by deep purple berries. It's a pollinator plant and is reportedly deer resistant. 

For cultural information, go here.

'Sun King' is not patented and was brought to market by Barry Yinger. 

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