The Temperate Database is in the process of being updated, with new records being added and old ones being checked and brought up to date where necessary. This record has not yet been checked and updated.
Coptis japonica is a Evergreen Perennial up to 0.22 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine and source of materials..
Although no specific mention of toxicity has been found for this species, it belongs to a family that contains many species that are mildly toxic and so it is wise to treat this plant with some caution.
E. Asia - Japan.
Woods in mountains all over Japan[
Requires a light moist humus-rich slightly acidic soil with a northerly aspect or light shade[
The root is a pungent, very bitter, cooling herb that controls bacterial and viral infections, relaxes spasms, lowers fevers and stimulates the circulation[
]. It is locally analgesic and anaesthetic[
] and is also anti-inflammatory and stomachic. It is used in the treatment of intestinal catarrh[
], dysentery, enteritis, high fevers, inflamed mouth and tongue, conjunctivitis etc[
The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried[
Can be grown as a ground cover plant in the peat garden[
Seed - best sown in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe in an ericaceous compost[
]. Seal the pot in a polythene bag until germination takes place, which is usually within 1 - 6 months at 10°c[
]. Stored seed should be sown as early in the year as possible. Four weeks cold stratification may be beneficial[
]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a shady part of the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out in mid-autumn or in spring.
Division in spring[