Please identify unknown plant/shrub/tree seedling

Asked June 26, 2020, 12:42 PM EDT

Hi, this plant is popping up throughout our wooded land and has sharp barbs. I haven't seen one over 4 feet tall, but haven't seen it much before. What is it and is it invasive? Thanks

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

This looks like a type of Aralia. We have five species in Maryland, four of which are native species and one (Japanese Aralia) is non-native.
https://www.marylandbiodiversity.com/view/2189
https://www.marylandbiodiversity.com/view/8829

A way to tell the difference between the two is to look at the back of the leaf. On Japanese Aralia the leaf veins extend all the way out to the teeth on the margins.

Christa