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.
Helwingia japonica is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 1.50 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
E. Asia - China, Japan.
Woods and thickets in hills and low mountains of Japan[
]. Moist rich soil in woods, thickets, valleys, streamsides and roadsides at elevations of 100 - 3400 metres[
Succeeds in ordinary garden soil[
]. Requires a sheltered position beneath a good tree canopy cover[
Not very hardy in Britain, tolerating temperatures down to about -7°c, it only succeeds outdoors in the milder areas of the country[
Cultivated for its leaves in Japan[
The flowers are produced on the midribs of the leaves[
Dioecious, male and female plants must be grown if seed is required.
Young leaves - cooked with rice or boiled as a potherb[
The young flowers and young shoots are also eaten[
Seed - we have no information on this species but suggest sowing the seed in a greenhouse in late winter. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame.