Plant of the Week

Kerria japonica ‘Pleniflora’:

Shyly hiding away in the east garden is one of our loveliest shrubs: the double-flowered Japanese rose.  Also known as Kerria japonica ‘Pleniflora’, it has been flowering all spring. This little Rosaceae is a deciduous shrub with a really long flowering season, offering lots of yellow blossom.

kerria japonica

Actually a native of China, it was first seen in Japan by European botanists and introduced as a garden plant.  Japanese gardeners had cultivated hundreds of Chinese imports for centuries before they were ‘discovered’, resulting in many Chinese natives having the name japonica.

It is quite a low maintenance plant and grows easily here, preferring a partial shade position. It can reach about 2m high and works really well at Gravetye as an isolated subject.  I have also seen it looking wonderful as an espalier against a wall in many gardens in France.

Words and photograph by Martin

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