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Useful Temperate Plants

Swertia japonica

(Schult.) Makino

Gentianaceae

+ Synonyms

Frasera japonica (Schult.) Toyok.

Gentiana japonica Schult.

Ophelia japonica (Schult.) Griseb.

Swertia rotata Thunb.

Synallodia japonica Raf.

Common Name: Semburi

No Image.

General Information

Swertia japonica is an annual to biennial plantwith stems that are unbranched or branched from the base; it can grow around 5 - 40cm tall[
58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
,
275
Title
Flora of Japan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.foj.info
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora - an excellent resource.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a medicine, as an ingredient in commercial cosmetics, and perhaps also occasionally as a food.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
,
275
Title
Flora of Japan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.foj.info
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora - an excellent resource.

Range

E. Asia - southern Korea, Japan.

Habitat

Sunny slopes and thickets in lowland and hills all over Japan; at elevations up to 1,700 metres[
58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
,
275
Title
Flora of Japan
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.foj.info
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora - an excellent resource.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitAnnual
Height0.20 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Swertia species are generally plants of moderate to high elevations where they are often found on damp slopes and humus-rich, peat mosses. They grow best in areas with cool summers and perennial species are generally cold-hardy to temperatures down to around -15°c[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Succeeds in a moist humus-rich soil in damp light woodlands, streamsides or the bog garden[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Grows best in areas with cool summers[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The plant is monocarpic, living for one to three years before flowering and dying after it flowers[
58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
].
It is cultivated as a medicinal herb in China[
238
Title
Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses.
Publication
 
Author
Bown. D.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley, London.
Year
1995
ISBN
0-7513-020-31
Description
A very well presented and informative book on herbs from around the globe. Plenty in it for both the casual reader and the serious student. Just one main quibble is the silly way of having two separate entries for each plant.
].
It requires a symbiotic relationship with soil bacteria[
174
Title
Atlas of Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Kariyone. T.
Publisher
Nihon Rinshosha; Osaka
Year
1973
ISBN
 
Description
A good Japanese herbal.
].

Edible Uses

The leaves might be edible cooked as a potherb[
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
].

Medicinal

The whole plant is bitter and stomachic[
174
Title
Atlas of Medicinal Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Kariyone. T.
Publisher
Nihon Rinshosha; Osaka
Year
1973
ISBN
 
Description
A good Japanese herbal.
,
2038
Title
Hepatoprotective Principles of Swertia japonica Makino on d-Galactosamine/Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Liver Injury in
Publication
Chem. Pharm. Bull. 45 (11) 1823-1827 (1997)
Author
Hase K. et al
Publisher
 
Year
1997
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. It is also reported to show hair tonic, antimicrobial and antitumor activity[
2038
Title
Hepatoprotective Principles of Swertia japonica Makino on d-Galactosamine/Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Liver Injury in
Publication
Chem. Pharm. Bull. 45 (11) 1823-1827 (1997)
Author
Hase K. et al
Publisher
 
Year
1997
ISBN
 
Description
 
]. The plant is used in the treatment of digestive disorders.

The plant has been shown to have a potent hypoglycaemic effect, the active principle being a xanthone 'bellidifoline', and to also exert a protective action upon the liver mainly due to the activity of the compound tetrahydroswertianolin[
2038
Title
Hepatoprotective Principles of Swertia japonica Makino on d-Galactosamine/Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Liver Injury in
Publication
Chem. Pharm. Bull. 45 (11) 1823-1827 (1997)
Author
Hase K. et al
Publisher
 
Year
1997
ISBN
 
Description
 
].

Other Uses

An extract of the plant is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as a sin conditioner[
1243
Title
CosIng
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/cosing/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
CosIng is the European Commission database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients.
].
The dried and powdered plant is used as an ingredient in commercial cosmetic preparations as a humectant and skin conditioner[
1243
Title
CosIng
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://ec.europa.eu/growth/tools-databases/cosing/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
CosIng is the European Commission database for information on cosmetic substances and ingredients.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow in trays in spring in a humus-rich medium in temperatures not exceeding 10°c[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2023-01-28. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Swertia+japonica>

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