Fatsia japonica


Family: Araliaceae

Origin: Asia

A cluster of fatsia berries.
Fatsia is a evergreen shrub with large bright green leaves.
Photo credit: Colin Ogle

Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) status

  • Whole region — Sustained control
  • Hauraki Gulf Controlled Area Notice pest

View more about the RPMP statuses

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.

Impact on environment

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.

Photo of Fatsia, showing leaves and flowers.
Flowers are borne in terminal, spherical umbels in March – May.
Photo credit: Phil Bendle - https://citscihub.s3.amazonaws.com