Nepeta tenuifolia japonica
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Nepeta tenuifolia japonica is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.30 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
E. Asia - China, Japan.
Sloping forest margins, valleys; 500-2700 m. Gansu, Guizhou, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Liaoning, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan and cultivated in Fujian, Jiangsu, Yunnan, Zhejiang[
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it could succeed outdoors in many parts of this country. There is some doubt over the correct name for this plant. It does not appear in 'The Flora of Japan[
], but there is an entry in that book for N. japonica. Willd. which is said to be a synonym of Caryopteris incana. (Thunb.)Miq. It is possible that the reports on the plants uses should be for that plant. The following notes are based on the general needs of this genus.
Easily grown in a well-drained soil in a sunny position[
]. Plants are bushier when grown in fertile soils[
Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer or rabbits[
A good bee plant[
Young leaves - raw or cooked[
, 177 179]. A good savoury, it is used to flavour foods[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame in the autumn[
]. The germination of spring sown seed can be erratic[
], it is best sown in a cold frame. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in the summer.
If you have sufficient freshly ripe seed then it is well worth trying a sowing outdoors in situ in the autumn.
Division in spring or autumn[
]. Very easy, large divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found that it is better to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame until they are well established before planting them out in late spring or early summer.
Basal cuttings in late spring or early summer. Harvest the shoots with plenty of underground stem when they are about 8 - 10cm above the ground. Pot them up into individual pots and keep them in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the summer.