Japanese Aralia. Fatsia japonica is the most distinctive of all evergreens with large palmate leaves. The lobed leaves can reach 16 inches across and provide contrast in the shade garden. It can be grown in mass plantings on larger sites or as a specimen in smaller gardens. Grow it with ferns for contrast and it is excellent when mixed with large plantings of Rhododendrons to relieve the monotony of dark, medium evergreen foliage. Drumstick-like flowers are otherworldly in appearance but add to the distinctiveness of this shrub. Plant with the usual woodland perennials like hellebores, hostas, and the like. Foliage is excellent in flower arrangements and lasts for weeks when cut. Drought tolerant once established, but appreciates occasional to regular water during very long dry spells. Grows 6' x 6'.