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Araliaceae

Ivy Family

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The Araliaceae is a family of 52 genera and 700 species of flowering plants including perennial herbs, trees and vines. Flowers are generally small with 5 petals and stamens and clustered in umbels or other arrangements. Some genera e.g. Hedera (ivies) are cultivated as foliage plants. The root of Panax species (ginseng) is an important medicinal herb.
The Araliaceae are merged into the closely-related Apiaceae (Umbelliferae) in some taxonomic treatments.


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Cussonia
The only genus in the Araliaceae with succulent species is Cussonia, which are squat trees with gnarled corky bark and tuberous roots. Succulent Cussonia species should be started from seeds, as cuttings may not develop the desirable thickened stems and rootstocks. Leaves are digitately compound and greyish to bluish-green, due to protective waxes on the leaf surface. Cussonia trees are suitable for outdoor rockeries in frost-free climates. Occasional mild frost may be tolerated but defoliates the plant.