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General description

Shrub or small tree < 6 m tall. Leaves are large, glossy, < 60 cm long and palmate, with 5-10 lobes. Flowers are white and borne in terminal, spherical umbels in March – May. Fruit is black and ripens in early winter.

What you need to know

To help protect our environment, from 1 September 2022, you:

  • will not be allowed to breed, distribute, release or sell fatsia within the Auckland region.
  • will not be allowed to plant fatsia within the Auckland region, unless you are transferring an existing plant on your land to another location within the boundaries of the same property.
  • must destroy any fatsia on land that you occupy if it has been planted in breach of the above rules and you are directed to do so by an authorised person.

Forests, gullies, gardens, roadsides, rock walls, can grow as epiphyte.

Seeds dispersed by birds. Vegetative spread from suckers.

Forms multi-stemmed thickets, preventing native vegetation regeneration. Can invade intact native bush. Poisonous and allergenic, can cause contact dermatitis.

Site Management

Follow up treated areas 3 times per year. Encourage natural regeneration of native plants or replant treated areas where possible after 2-3 treatments to establish dense ground cover and minimise reinvasion.

Recommended approaches

Physical control

Method: Dig out

Plant parts requiring disposal: All parts

Disposal options: Remove to greenwaste or landfill if practical


Biocontrol is currently not available for this species.

Community agrichemical control recommendations

No qualifications
Cut stump and paste freshly cut base of stems with metsulfuron gel

Basic Growsafe certified
Cut stump and spray freshly cut base with 2g metsulfuron-methyl per 1 L of water

Certified Handler/Experienced agrichemical user
Foliar spray with 5g metsulfuron-methyl per 10L of water and 20ml penetrant

Safety notes

Poisonous and can cause contact dermatitis.

CAUTION: When using any herbicide or pesticide please read the label thoroughly to ensure that all instructions and safety requirements are followed.

Similar species

castor oil plant
Ricinus communis

Castor oil plant in NZ tends to have red-purple coloured leaves. Castor-oil plant has a spiny seed capsule rather than a fruit.

Search tags

RPMP status

Whole region (Sustained Control)
Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest
Fatsia - Main species image