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Hovenia dulcis - Thunb.

Common Name Japanese Raisin Tree
Family Rhamnaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Plains and mountains to 2000 metres in W. China[109]. Secondary forest[266].
Range E. Asia - China to the Himalayas.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Full sun
Hovenia dulcis Japanese Raisin Tree


Hovenia dulcis Japanese Raisin Tree

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

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Hovenia dulcis is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 7 m (23ft).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in July, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

H. acerba. H. inequalis.

Habitats

Woodland Garden Secondary; Sunny Edge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit.
Edible Uses: Sweetener.

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 11, 158]. They can be dried when they have the sweet flavour and texture of raisins and can be used similarly[183]. The fruit is sweet and fragrant[105, 147] with a pear-like flavour[218]. Dry and sub-acid[61]. It is not a true fruit but a swollen receptacle[200]. The fruit is up to 3cm long[2], it contains 11.4% glucose, 4.7% fructose and 12.6% sucrose[218]. A sweet extract of the seed, boughs and young leaves is used as a substitute for honey[183]. The seed contains 15% protein and 7.8% fat[218].

Medicinal Uses



Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Antispasmodic;  Febrifuge;  Laxative.

Antispasmodic, febrifuge, laxative[147, 178]. The fruit is antispasmodic, febrifuge, laxative and diuretic[218]. The seeds are diuretic and are used in the treatment of alcohol overdose[218]. The seeds are used to relieve intoxication due to wine[240]. The stem bark is used in the treatment of rectal diseases[218].

Other Uses

Wood.

The wood is hard and fine grained. It is good for making furniture[266].

Cultivation details

Grows well in a fertile sandy loam in a sunny position[200]. Although the dormant plant is hardy to at least -15°c in Britain, it really prefers a continental climate to fully ripen its wood, it is then hardy to about -25°c[200]. The shoot tips are sometimes damaged by winter frosts in Britain[1] and the young growth in spring can also be damaged by late frosts[K]. The Japanese raisin tree is said to grow well in Cornwall[59], though our experience of this plant so far (1995) is that it is very difficult to establish. Perhaps older plants are as hardy as the reports above suggest, but younger plants are quite tender and often die in their first few winters outdoors[K]. The Japanese raisin tree is cultivated for its edible fruit in Japan. The small white flowers are scented and are produced in terminal cymes[245].

Propagation

Seed - germinates freely if sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame[200]. Stored seed should be scarified and sown in early spring[113], it may not germinate for a year. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when large enough to handle and grow on for at least their first winter in a greenhouse. Plant out in late spring after the last expected frosts and give some winter protection for their first couple of years outdoors. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[200]. Cuttings of mature wood, late autumn in a frame[200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants

 

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Expert comment

Author

Thunb.

Botanical References

11200266

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

monica   Mon Dec 26 2005

do you have any charts, graphs, and pictures?

Bryan   Wed Feb 8 2006

I am growing a Japanese Raisin Tree in Seattle, USA (48DEG North-- cool mediterranean type climate: wet winters, dry summers). I received this 2 year-old tree from a nursery. If anyone is interested to know how it goes, I'd be happy to respond. Email [email protected] :)

Egon   Sun Apr 9 2006

Hi Bryan, I would like to know whether you got any fall color there in Seattle. We have quite many Japanese Raisin Trees here in zone 10A and they show very poor fall color, usually a golden mixed with the remaining green. My email is [email protected]

Alejandro B. Hernandez   Fri Apr 27 2007

I need to know how or were I can buy the extract of the Hovenia tree.

Denny Luby   Tue Jan 22 2008

Do you get fruit? I have had a Hovenia dulcis for 5 years with no fruit. Three years ago I grafted scion from a fruiting tree now I have had heavy fruiting since the first year if the graft.

Steve   Thu Nov 19 2009

Is there any company selling the Hovenia Dulcis Extract? If you do or know, please send me a line to [email protected] I prefer U.S origin since I live U.S. I want this for exporting outside of country.

Paul Barney   Thu Dec 31 2009

I have planted Hovenia dulcis outside in a couple of locations in Berkshire. The trees grow away very quickly. The tree in the nursery is 8m in just 5 years. As yet no fruit has set.

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