Herb: Japanese Hawthorn

Latin name: Rhaphiolepis umbellata

Synonyms: Laurus umbellata, Rhaphiolepis japonica, Rhaphiolepis ovata

Family: Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Edible parts of Japanese Hawthorn:

Seed - used as a flour. A famine food, they are only used when all else fails.

Description of the plant:


2.5 m
(8 1/4 foot)

to May


Habitat of the herb:

Thickets near the seashore, C. and S. Japan.

Other uses of Japanese Hawthorn:

Plants can be used for informal hedging in areas that are frost free or almost so. A brown dye is obtained from the bark.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a shady position in a warm greenhouse. Stored seed should be sown in February/March in a warm greenhouse. Germination is variable. 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, 5cm with a heel, September/October in a frame. Fair percentage. Layering.

Cultivation of Japanese Hawthorn:

Thickets near the seashore, C. and S. Japan.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Rhaphiolepis umbellata:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.