Dizygotheca elegantissima

False Aralia is a woody plant with unusual foliage. Grown indoors it generally has a straight, unbranched stem. The leaves (syn. Aralia elegantissima) are long with very thin, green stalks with yellowish markings. The leaf blade is composed of seven to nine extremely narrow leaflets. They are olive-green with a reddish midrib and tip and prominently toothed on the margins. In cultivation it hardly ever produces flowers and fruits because house plants are usually juvenile plants. These are quite different from adult specimens, which can make identification of the individual species in the wild rather difficult. The precise number of species in the genus Dizygotheca is not known, but is estimated to be about 15. They are distributed in Polynesia and New Caledonia.

False Aralia is not very easy to cultivate. It requires a relative humidity of 50 per cent, but does not tolerate very wet compost. Always use tepid water for watering. It also does well in hydroponic cultivation. Propagate from seed or by grafting on to the related species Meryta denhamii.

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