Vaccinium japonicum is treated as a disjunct subspecies of Vaccinium erythrocarpum (as Vaccinium erythrocarpum japonicum (Miq.) Kloet) in the Flora of N. America[
Agapetes vaccinioidea H.Lév.
Hugeria japonica (Miq.) Nakai
Hugeria lasiostemon (Hayata) Maekawa
Hugeria randaiensis Masam.
Hugeria sinica (Nakai) Maek.
Hugeria vaccinoidea (H.Lév.) H.Hara
Hugeria vaccinoidea lasiostemon (Hayata) H.Hara
Oxycoccoides japonica (Miq.) Nakai
Oxycoccus japonicus (Miq.) Makino
Vaccinium erythrocarpum japonicum (Miq.) Kloet
Vaccinium siccum H.Lév. & Vaniot
Vaccinium japonicum is a many-branched, deciduous shrub growing 40 - 200cm tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
E. Asia - southeast China, Japan, Korea
Woods in mountains and hills all over Japan[
]. Forests, thickets, alpine areas; at elevations from 1,000 - 2,600 metres, occasionally to 3,000 metres[
Requires a moist but freely-draining lime free soil, preferring one that is rich in peat or a light loamy soil with added leaf-mould[
]. Prefers a very acid soil with a pH in the range of 4.5 to 6, plants soon become chlorotic when lime is present. Succeeds in full sun or light shade though it fruits better in a sunny position[
]. Requires shelter from strong winds[
Dislikes root disturbance, plants are best grown in pots until being planted out in their permanent positions[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked. An acid flavour[
]. The bright red, globose berries are around 6mm in diameter[
Seed - sow late winter in a greenhouse in a lime-free potting mix and only just cover the seed[
]. Stored seed might require a period of up to 3 months cold stratification[
]. Another report says that it is best to sow the seed in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe[
]. Once they are about 5cm tall, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position 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, 5 - 8cm with a heel, August in a frame[
]. Slow and difficult.
Layering in late summer or early autumn[
]. Another report says that spring is the best time to layer[
]. Takes 18 months[
Division of suckers in spring or early autumn[