Not widely grown Trochodendron aralioides is an interesting small evergreen ornamental shrub or tree known as the ‘wheel tree’. A very useful small tree for shaded areas as it only reaches around 3m in height in most gardens. It is the growth habit that gives it the common name of ‘Wheel tree’. The branches radiate like the spokes of a wheel from a solitary central leader. Characterised by with glossy green ‘rubbery’ foliage and fascinating green flowers in terminal clusters.
You may not have heard of the tree, or even the genus, as this is the only species in the genus. From Korea Japan, China and Taiwan it is an interesting growth habit, fast for the first few years and then very slow growing.
Requires a moist soil and is not really drought tolerant at all. Excellent is a large pot or container. The green flowers when looked as individuals look like wheels with spokes. will reach 3m +
Once only found in the gardens of plant collectors, it is now sought after for the foliage, often grown in containers or in a border along with Rhododendrons.
Try underplanting Trochodendron aralioides with Hostas, Daphne, Hellebores or even cyclamen.
- Aspect – Dappled shade.
- Soil – Humus rich, moist, well drained.
- Plant Type – Woody evergreen perennial.
- Height – 3 -4m easily pruned. Can reach 10m in ideal conditions. Growth rate is slow.
- Spread – 2 – 3 m.
- Foliage – Green and glossy in ‘Wheel Like’ clusters.
- Flower – Insignificant
- Flowing Period – Spring through to Autumn
- Features – Foliage
- Landscaping Uses – Woodland setting or shaded garden
- Propagation – Easy softwood cuttings.