Smilax herbacea nipponica (Miq.) Maxim.
Coprosmanthus nipponicus (Miq.) Koidz.
Smilax higoensis Miq.
Smilax herbacea higoensis (Miq.) Makino
Smilax herbacea intermedia C.H.Wright
Smilax herbacea oblonga C.H.Wright
Smilax oblonga (C.H.Wright) Norton
Smilax oldhamii subtrifoliata Honda
Smilax longipedunculata Merr.
Coprosmanthus simadai (Masam.) Masam.
Smilax simadai Masam.
Smilax oldhamii tenuifolia Hisauti
Smilax oldhamii angustifolia (Koidz.) Ohwi
Smilax oldhamii higoensis (Miq.) Ohwi
Smilax nipponica is an erect, herbaceous perennial plant growing from a short, thick rhizome. The plant produces one or more unbranched stems from 8 - 100cm tall, this sometimes becomes slightly climbing in habit[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and a medicine. The young shoots are often sold in local food markets in Korea[
E. Asia - eastern China, central and southern Japan (Honshu), Korea
Meadows and thickets in mountains, C. and S. Japan[
]. Forests, grassy slopes, moist places along streams; at elevations from 200 - 1,400 metres in China[
Smilax nipponica is native to the temperate and subtropical climates of eastern China, Japan and Korea.
Succeeds in most soils in sun or semi-shade[
A dioecious species - both male and female forms must be grown if fruit and seed are required.
Leaves and young shoots - raw or cooked and used like asparagus[
The roots are antispasmodic and carminative. They stimulate the circulation[
]. A decoction is used in the treatment of amenorrhoea, arthritis, backache etc[
Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse[
]. This note probably refers to the tropical members of the genus, seeds of plants from cooler areas seem to require a period of cold stratification, some species taking 2 or more years to germinate[
]. We sow the seed of temperate species in a cold frame as soon as we receive it, and would sow the seed as soon as it is ripe if we could obtain it then[
]. When the seedlings eventually germinate, prick them out into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first year, though we normally grow them on in pots for 2 years. Plant them out into their permanent positions in early summer.
Division in early spring as new growth begins[
]. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions. We have found it best to pot up the smaller divisions and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in a cold frame, planting them out once they are well established in the summer.
Cuttings of half-ripe shoots, July in a frame[