WSU Clark County Extension

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Devils Walkingstick

Scientific name: Aralia spinosa

Type:Deciduous shrubs
Plant Requirements
Zone:4 to 9
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:10 ft
Width:7 ft
Bloom:Summer flowers
Bloom Time:August
Bloom Color:White
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Devils Walkingstick is a very spiny shrub that could be used for defensible landscaping.

This interesting plant is classified as a small tree or more typically a large shrub, as it sends up multiple suckers which can grow to a height of 10” or more. It bears very large leaves which are bi-pinnately compound and up 5’ across. The leaves look like elongated hearts with a ferny appearance. Individual leaflets are 2”-4” in length and oval in shape with pointed tips and serrated edges. They are dark green on top and whitish underneath, turning burgundy in the fall.

Stems are ash gray in color with the vicious spines everywhere! Thick leather gloves are needed when handling this plant.

The large, flat clusters of small white flowers are produced in late summer. These are followed by the purple to nearly black fruit that matures in August or September.

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds.

Widely adapted to most sites other than ones which are wet. This species can be both poisonous and on the East Coast of the United States mildly invasive. The raw berries should not be consumed by humans. Contact with the bark or roots can cause brief skin irritation.

None reported.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
Computing and Web Resources, PO Box 6234, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-6234