Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Kerria japonica DC. var. flore pleno

Fully-hardy, suckering shrub with arching green shoots, pointed, sharply-toothed leaves, and solitary, single or double, golden yellow flowers, to 5cm across, covering the branches in spring.  To 2m.  [RHSE, Hortus, Hilliers’].

Horticultural & Botanical History

‘The Corchorus japonicus, though of very late introduction, is likely to be soon common, as it increases very fast by suckers which the roots throw up in numbers, and strikes most readily from cuttings.  At present it is treated as a greenhouse, sometimes as a stove-shrub, but will probably be found sufficiently hardy to bear the cold of our winters in the open air as well as the Ophiopogon japonicus (No. 1063) which likewise grows spontaneously about Nagasaki.  The single flowered variety has not, to our knowledge, been ever seen in Europe: that with double flowers was introduced into Kew Gardens in 1805 by Mr. William Kerr; from whence it has already spread into most of the principal collections about London.  It is cultivated both in Japan and China as an ornamental shrub.

Our drawing was taken from a small plant communicated to us by Mr. Devey, Florist, in the King’s-Road, Chelsea, in August last; but its more natural seafon of flowering appears to be in the spring: in Japan it blooms in February and the following months.’  [BM t.1296/1810].

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [T.616/1843].  The original importation may have been the single form, introduced about 1834 [RHSD] as Macarthur requested Kerria japonica ‘double’ from J. Abbott of Hobart on 16th June 1846 [MP A2933-2, p.159].  This form still survives in the gardens.


Published Feb 05, 2010 - 02:19 PM | Last updated Feb 05, 2010 - 02:26 PM

Figured are deeply toothed leaves and very double bright yellow flower.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1296, 1810.

Kerria japonica DC. flore pleno | BM t.1296/1810 | BHL

Family Rosaceae
Region of origin

China, Japan

  • Corchorus japonicus Thunb.
Common Name

Jew?s mantle

Name in the Camden Park Record

Kerria Japonica 

Confidence level high