Image for American Spikenard

American Spikenard

Scientific name

Aralia racemosa


American Spikenard is a perennial wildflower that typically grows about 1 m in height. This plant may also be known by the common name Indian Root. The stems are dark maroon to black colored. The leaves are very large, dark to light green colored, have oval, heart shaped leaflets with toothed margins and pointed tips. The flowers are small, greenish white colored, appear on flowering stalks with small white hairs, and bloom between June and August. The flowers produce clusters of dark purple berries, which are inedible to humans but beneficial to birds and wildlife. The roots are sometimes used in tea for medicinal purposes.

Planting conditions

American Spikenard grows best in moist conditions with partial sun exposure. It prefers well-drained, nutrient rich, humus or loam soil types. It is tolerant of deep shade, drought, as well as rocky and clay soil. It is intolerant of strong wind so plant in sheltered area. This wildflower is easily propagated by being split or grown from seed.


  • Plant height:
    • Max 1.5m
    • Max 2m
    • Max 3m
    • Any
  • Moisture level:
    • Normal
    • Moist
  • Light conditions:
    • Partial sun
    • Shade
  • Soil type:
    • Loamy
    • Humus
  • pH:
    • Acidic
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Wildflower
  • Eco Zone:
    • 3a
    • 3b
    • 4a
    • 4b
    • 5a
    • 5b
    • 6a
    • 6b
    • 7a
    • 7b
    • 8a
  • Plant type:
    • Wildflower
  • Height:
    • 1 m
  • Spread:
    • 1 m