Mitrastema yamamotoi: Yakkosou

Mitrastema yamamotoi is a natural monument of Kochi and is a representative plant of Muroto. This was first discovered in Kochi and Tomitarou Makino, a famous botanist from Kochi, described this plant as a new kind. It is a parasitic plant of the Mitrastemon Yamamotoi family and is parasitic on the root of the tree of chinquapin. Continue reading Mitrastema yamamotoi: Yakkosou

Lycoris radiata: Higanbana

By T. Nakamoto

image00Bulb plants perennial toxic whole plant.Six pieces of petals arrive radially distributed in the form of inflorescence.The clumps such as roadside, red-flowered in mid-September, but some white rare.The figure is unique, during the late summer and early fall, height 30 – 50cm scape leaf also branches of  also section also does not have projects on the ground, inflorescence wrapped in wrapped in its tip is attached only one.Flowers give a face and broken wraps.There is luster in the dark green leaves. Leaf can be seen during the winter figure, but it withered to become the next spring, nothing is growing in the ground until the fall approaches.
Description & Taxonomy
Amaryllidaceae is recognized classification system many (new Engler system, such as APG plant classification system), and is a taxon name commonly used, but are included in the lily family in Kuronkisuto system.
Range & Ecology
Western edge of the distribution in the Himalayan mountain system eastern Taiwan is continuous, Ryukyu Islands, Kyushu, the southern Korean Peninsula, Shikoku, and Honshu from so-called South China Yangtze River basin of south China’s Yunnan Province, from northern Indochina, eastern end is the Aomori prefecture (Ungerunia Ungernia genus of closely related are distributed to areas coated. green area surrounded by a red line on the left). In addition, the majority of this distribution area overlaps the laurel forest zone.
Use & Conservation
It is more common in cemeteries and ridges of paddy fields, but it is believed to have been planted artificially in order to:. Animal desolation the field rat, mole, and insects in the former case to avoid the hated poison of the bulb to (avoidance) so, in order to prevent burial and after insect repellent, corpse from being ravaged digging by animals in the latter case.
Bulb rich in starch. For lycorine is a toxic component is water soluble, for detoxification is possible if Sarase in water for a long time.Bulb is a crude drug name stone of garlic there is an expectorant and diuretic effect, but the amateur is to use as a folk medicine since it is toxic It is dangerous. Incidentally, galantamine which is one component of the venom has been used as a therapeutic agent for Alzheimer’s disease.
Flowers is beautiful bright red, it will admire involuntarily and is in full glory in one side and in such bank

Yamamomo : Myrica rubra

By M. T.


ƒ„ƒ}ƒ‚ƒ‚Myrica rubra is called yamamomo. It is a subtropical tree grown for its sweet, crimson to dark purple-red, edible fruit. Its fruit is a sweet-sour delicious. The Japanese name suggests the word peach, but Yamamomo and peach are totally different plant. Yamamoto is a Prefectural flower of Kochi.

Description and Taxonomy

Yamamomo can grow to a height of 10~20 meters. The leaf is 10 cm,dark green with cortex. It is dioecious, with separate male and female plants. The root system is 5~60 cm deep, with no obvious taproot. The fruit is spherical, 1.5~2 cm in diameter , with a knobby surface. The surface color is typically a deep red, red , it seemed to display small red beads. It matures in July from June. The flesh is sweet and very tart. At the center of the flesh is a big signal seed.

It called Morella rubra Loureiro; Myrica rubra var. acuminata Nakai. It is usually cited as Myrica rubra. Yamamomo is a small family of about 30 types. For a long time it was said that family was separated by three genus, and many kinds were classified in the Myrica genus, and Yamamomo was included.

Range and Ecology

Yamamomo is native to eastern Asia, Japan, China. It grows in the warm place and is strong in heat. In Japan, it grows wild in lowland and the mountainous district from Kanto and to the south in Japan. In the south in southern Honshu, it is an important tree class constituting the forest in unproductive land such as the shore or the dry ridge of the low mountain. . It tolerates poor acidic soils, because it lives together with bacteria called franckia performing nitrogen fixation.Therefore it may be used for tree planting.


The fruit of the Yamamomo is eaten fresh and is processed into jam and wine. There are two main types of Yamamomo, a sour type used for making dried fruit and a sweet type used for juice and fresh eating. So the bark include a lot of tannin, it may be used as medical use. It might be planted a tree in the fields and moutains. Nowadays it is planted in a park and the street as a roadside tree. How to propagate is by grafting and layering.


The main producing center is Tokushima and Kochi in Japan. The seasonal time of Yamamomo is a short period of less than one mouth. So it may be said that Yamamoto is a precious fruit letting you feel the season. If you would like to eat Yamamomo, go to Kochi (or Tokushima!) in the rainy season.

BUNA: Japanese Beech

by S.saiki


Buna is a kind of wood. Buna grows high area of mountain. Shirakami mountain range is famous for Buna. So Buna is one of the important plants. But they were cut down by people after war. Their range is diminished.

Description & Taxonomy

Buna’s scientific name is Fagus crenata Blume. Buna is contained in the group, Fagaceae. In this group, same plants are chestnut, oak and so on. Buna lives in from Hokkaido to Kagoshima. Buna’s color is black or ash gray. Buna’s high is 30 meter.

Range & ecology

Buna lives in japan, Europa, northern America and so on. Mainly, Buna is grown cool environment or high area of mountain. Since Buna is strong to coldness.

Use & Conversation

Buna is perishable and flexible, so it was not used as lumbers. But it was used as firewood. Now, Buna is used as material, for example, furniture, ski plate, plywood, toy and so on. Buna’s nut is eaten by food. Eating animals are many mammals.


Buna’s forest is very beautiful. In the forest, there are many things of plants and creature. So, we can enjoy searching and watching and viewing. Forest’s ground is soft since ground absorbs water. So, it is difficult for us to walk ground. It is interesting to w

The division Ginkgophyta and the species Ginkgo biloba

by Do Ngoc Anh

Ginkgo biloba is a very special and old species of seeding plants. They grow fast and are incredibly strong trees. Four Ginkgo biloba trees in Hiroshima were reported to survive after being bombed. The four trees are still now living and growing well in Hiroshima.


The origin of the group’s name came from a mistake of the first western study who saw it for the first time in Japan, even though the origin of the plants was found in China later. The western study read the Chinese character 銀杏 – the plants’ name as “gin-kyo”. That is a possible way to red it, but it was in fact read “i-choh” in Japanese. The pronunciation “i-choh” in turn is not the way how the character 銀杏 is originally read in Chinese. “i-choh” came from “鸭脚” (Pinyin: yajiao) which means “duck’s feet” and it describes the leaves’ shape and it is not even ever the name of the trees in China.

Description and Taxonomy
Ginkgophyta is a division of plants, which are believed to be derived from “seed ferns” (ferns that bear seeds, literally), diversified on our earth a long time ago (during Jurassic, 190 million years ago) and most of the species went extinct prehistorically. Only Ginkgo biloba from the group stay extant in a small area in China and for this reason, it is called “living fossil”.

Ginkgo have many obviously distinct features so the plants can be easily identified. The plants are large and richly branched. They can grow very high, typically 20m ~ 30m and possibly 50m. With large seeds, the young shoots can survive well from competitions with other plant species during young growth stage. It is said that young shoots will grow straight upward to 10m before they elongate side branches.

There are two different kinds of shoots that can be found on a Ginkgo biloba tree. The elongating “long shoots”, during their first year of growth, produce a series of leaves from widely separated nodes. From the next year, grow on the long shoots the “spur shoots” (or short shoots) which can only grow in length 1 or 2 cm per year. Each spur shoot produces a cluster (up to 16 leaves) of leaves every year.

image01The leaves, as how its Japanese name tells, have the distinct shape of “duck’s feet”. It is also described as fan-shape. The leaves’ veins devide into two, which is what “biloba” means. The lobes of leaves which come from seedlings or long shoots are more deeply bilobed than those which come from spur shoots. The plants are deciduous, that means leaves survive only one growing season. They are initiated after severe winters, perform photosynthesis until they turn into beautiful yellow in autumn before falling out of the trees’ bodies.

The plants are dioecious, which means each tree has either sexuallity of male or female. The seeds grow only on the female tree. Because of the fact that the seeds release stinky smell, male trees can be more favorable to be planted as ornamentals near big streets.

Ginkgo do not have true flowers. Flower-like organs grows on both male and female trees in spring along with leaves from spur shoots. After pollination in March or April (right after initiation of leaves), it takes about 5 months until fertilization, which is around August. Sperms grow from pollen within the female gametophytes. Ginkgo is said to be one of those plants that have largest sperms among plant kingdom. Fertilization is perform around August when the female gametophytes are mature.

Range and Ecology
Ginkgo biloba grows in well-watered temperate area. As it is cultivated all over the world, it can be found even in the Southern hemisphere in Australia now.

Use and Conservation
From a small area in China, it has been cultivated in many parts of the world for it beautiful leaves in autumns. In Eastern Asia, Ginkgo biloba trees are considered sacred trees in Buddhism. It is cultivated in temples’ garden widely among Korea and Japan.

Seeds of Ginkgo biloba are edible. But they can become poisonous due to overeating. Ginkgo biloba produces many kinds of chemical compounds that it played an important role in China herbal medicine. Also, only recently it is seriously studied by western studies.

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Ginkgo biloba can be seen widely in Japan, from along sides of big main streets in big cities to the countryside, in temples, school grounds or in private gardens.


by M. Harada


Yamamomo grow in Shikoku, Kyusyu and Okinawa. Yamamomo height will be 10 meters. Yamamomo have unique smell. Yamamomo’s nut color is blackred. And nut like peach. Nuts is delicious. But nuts are not nonperishable. Since it is not eaten widelybut is consumed locally.

Description & Taxonomy

Yamamomo’s scientific name is Myricarubra. Yamamomo is contained in the group Myricaceae.  Myricagale is contained in the same group. The Japan name is Yati Yanagi. Yati Yanagi live in Hokkaido and Honsyu. And it grows at the place where altitude is high.
Yamamomo’s bark color is ash gray. Yati Yanagi’s bark color is brown.

Range & Ecology

Yamamomo live in Japan and china. Yamamomo is grown to a warm district and it is strong to heat. And it is grown on the seashore. Since Yamamomo is strong to dryness , it is use for a roadside tree.

Use & Conservation

Yamamomo’s nut is used for jam. And it is used for fruit wine. A bark is used for medicine. It’s name is YOUBAIHI. The medicine has an effect in muscular pain and lumbago. And there is also work which helps the digestive process.

A Japanese useful tree: Castanopsis

by M. Yamanaka


Do you know Castanopsis? In Japan, shizoku is tree that has been important from primitive ages. I think, you will not surely know well because it is too common and unremarkable. For example, in Kochi, it is a major cover tree of the surrounding mountains. Moreover it is used frequent as a roadside tree. (See Use for details.) But I think it comes down to the fact that it has been used so much from ancient times that it familiar: Castanopsis is very useful tree.

Description & Taxonomy

All Castanopsis is evergreen arboreal vegetation of the Fagaceae. Castanopsis is a dominant species of hilly country areas, a low mountain place, etc. And Castanopsis is dominant species most in the broad-leaved evergreen forest belts of western part of Japan. Japanese Castanopsis has two varieties that grow wild. One sort is C. sieboldii. Another one is C. cuspidate. They distinguished in the following respects. Compared with C. cuspidata , the direction of C. sieboldii is a long and slender nut. A vertical crack is produced in a bark. etc…

Range & Ecology

There are about 100 varieties of Castanopsis found mostly in Asia. Japan is the northern distribution limit of Castanopsis. C. sieboldii is widely distributed over the warm-temperate zone west of Fukushima, and grows up into it well with a coast background. This wood is hard and since it is strong,it becomes a big tree easily. It is highly resistant to damage from salt water because leaf is thick and the cuticle layer is developed. Therefore it is almost always found near the coast.

On the other hand, C. cuspidata is mainly distributed over the inland west of Kinki district. This is more distributed over inland. Both varieties have many common features and have some which are considered to be a case where distinction is difficult. These have also found the hybrid and there is what has difficult distinction.


We can eat their Acorn. It is used for a country child’s snack in years past. Even now, it is sold at the night stall of a festival in Hakata. But, in ancient times, especially the Jomon period (about 14,000 BC to about 300 BC), it was a very important food in part because of its taste. Acorns generally have an astringent taste, but Castanopsis acorn are not astringent.

The wood is used as building materials, and it can use as charcoal. In addition the wood is used for shiitake mushroom cultivation.

Finally, the bark is used for dye. It is used for dyeing a wooden plate. If it uses together with iron nail, it will dye black.

As the only fault, honey produced near stands of Castonopsis has a bad smell and it is disliked by the apiarist. But it seems that a nature is also useful since an insect swarms around a flower well.


C. cuspidata and C. sieboldii are can see easily in Kochi. The beginning of spring,it is soft green. The flower of thin yellow is well conspicuous even from a distance. When autumn comes, you can go to gather acorns or the shiitake mushroom which grew in the dead tree of Castanopsis may be able to be found. And we can also eat.

However, if you find mushrooms that you don’t know well, it is dangerous, don’t take them. If you decide to gather them, please take care and enjoy yourself. Although it is promising with any time, I recommend you spring and autumn in this way.

Japanese Beautyberry: Callicarpa japonica

by M. Yashio

Do you know Omurasakishikibu?This scientific name is Callicarpa japonica avar. luxurians Rehd.I like this.Because it bear very beautiful fruit.

Description & Taxonomy

The height of the tree is around 3 meters from 1 meter.The height of the tree is around 3 meters from 1 meter. The leaf is anti-life in ovoid. The point of the leaf is sharp and is jaggedness. As for the flower, as for the length, around 8 millimeters, flower diameter are around 5 millimeters from 3 millimeters from 5 millimeters with form of pipe. The point of the flower is split in five. There are four stamens. The point of the pistil is flat. I attach spherical stone fruit from 3 millimeters in diameter that I made green after flower arrangement to around 5 millimeters. This is variation of Callicarpa japonica.


This plant is distributed from Hokkaido to Kyushu, Ryukyu Islands. Furthermore.This is seen in the forest of the low mountain extremely commonly. It is July from June at the flowering time. The base of the leaf produces a cyme and touches a flower tinged with white or a light crimson and violet color a lot.It ripens in purple from October through about December.

Use & Conservation

This plant is used as gardening because this plant’s fruit is very beautiful purple. The people cultivate it to appreciate this purple.

If you would like to see that,you go to Sukumo, Otsuuki and Ashizuri.

Yuzu: Citrus junos

by K. Yokoyama


Image by Jpatokal

Yuzu is famous in Kochi prefecture, specially in “Umajimura”. Now , Kochi is famous about production of yuzu . So, yuzu is indispensable when people speak about Kochi. Actually, If people come to Kochi ,they can see many goods of yuzu at shops or so.

Description & Taxonomy
Yuzu belong to mikan family mikan genus , and citrus fruits. The scientific name is Citrus junos. Trees of yuzu is about 3 meter and have stinging leaves . Fruit of yuzu is round shape and yellow color and strong sour taste and perfume and skin has protuberance. Yuzu is strong to cold environment in kinds of mikan, so, it can grow up in the Tohoku district in Japan and is long lifed. People plant seeds of yuzu in March to April, flower come out in May to June, next , people harvest fruits in autumn to winter.

Range & Ecology
The place of origin of yuzu is around the Changjiang in China. Yuzu came to Japan about at the Nara Era or Asuka Era. Now, yuzu is cultivated between the Tohoku district and the Kyusyu district in Japan.

Use & Conservation
In Kochi, cultivation of yuzu started in about 1965. But, yuzu was not good seller at first. In about 1990, people developed a vinger and a jam and a miso or so tastes yuzu . In 1988, people produced yuzu juice namede “gokkun Umajimura”. Then, sales of yuzu goods suddenly went up . Yuzu is traditionally put into bath in the winter day in Japan. Yuzu contains citric acid , tartaric acid , malic acid in fruit and contain many vitamin in skin of fruit , so , yuzu is effective to prevent cancer, sickness and stress. Yuzu is also used as a seasoning for Japanese dishes.


I came to Kochi recently. I knew that yuzu was famous in Kochi for the first time. When I go to a shop in Kochi , I see many goods of yuzu . For example , juice “gokkun Umazimura” . Gokkun Umajimura juice is very good taste. If you come to Kochi, I want you to drink yuzu juice . I think that you will become to love yuzu surely. Finally , I want to go to Umajimura famous about cultivation of yuzu , and harvest yuzu sometime.

Kombu: kelp

Kombu is a kind of marine algae. Marine algae have many many species, only a few of which are eaten. Of those, Kombu is the most popular in Japan. Also it is used for medical cure. Kombu is about 13 kinds for the price and the taste very various. The kombu is eating only in Asia.

The kombu increases by sporogenesis. The sporogenesis is performed Kombu, Fungi, alga and mushroom. The procedure of the reproduction, at first a spore grows. The spore has two hair and can move freely. The spore sticks to underwater rocks. The spore which stuck grows up and forms a gametophyte. There is male and female to agametophyte. The female forms an egg, and the male forms sperm. These are fertilized and grow up when formed Kombu. The kombu grows up at the place where strongly wave and deep sea. It grows up from the summer to the autumn.

The kombu affects ecosystem. For example, purify the water of the sea, become the hideout of the fish, become the spawning ground of the fish. However, in late years the number of kombu decreases. There are some the reasons. The first is urbanization. In late years the construction of the shore performed frequently by urbanization. The shore disappears by concrete every year. Therefore the homes of the kombu decrease. The second reason is global warming. When water temperature too high, the kombu cannot grow up. Therefore the global warming is crisis for the kombu. In addition, big influence is reflected on ecosystem when kombu decreases. The kombu is important for both a person and ecosystem in this way.

Mainly Kombu is used for broth. Kombu broth is very very nice taste and very transparent, so it is used for many Japanese food. Broth used for Iriko, Katuobushi, besides Kombu in Japan . But it is liked mainly in western Japan and is suitable for Oden, Udon. So used for many Japanese food. Also used for Tradition food in Japan. For example , Nimame , Aemono , Sunomono , Tsukudani.

Kombu’s volume of production is 120,000t in Japan. Total 65% is natural Kombu. Total 35% is cultured Kombu. Nature Kombu is very nice taste but very price is high so it is used mainly by restaurant. On the other hand, cultured Kombu’s taste is inferior to natural.

Nature Kombu is mainly harvested in Hokkaido. The Kombu is mainly harvested in Hokkaido. The Kombu of Hokkaido has good quality. High-quality Kombu, most grow wild in Hokkaido. Culture Kombu is not affected by nature and can stable harvest it.

The culture technology of the kombu began in the Edo era. The culture method of the kombu, At first I bring up kombu seed artificially. It return to the sea and bring up.

Unlike the other culture technology, not give the bait. Therefore made near to nature Kombu. However, it takes around 1 year to completion. Then, harvest it in summer and dry it. It is completed for much time and trouble.

In Kochi, it can be found at Katurahama.

Asakusanori: Porphyra tenera Kjellman

Asakusanori is Japanese name and it is called Amanori.This seaweed was harvested and processed in Asakusa early in the Edo period,it is the origin of Japanese name.This seaweed’s scientific name is Porphyra tenera Kjellman.

Asakusanori is Red seaweed, and a kind of amanori.It is genus of laver ,tleve are 30 kind of in japan.It is difficult for amanori to classify the seed because the figure is simple.Moreover, the figure changes responding to the environment.Adaptability to the environmental condition is wide,because as for the amanori, the body structure is easy.If it grows on the shore reef in the open sea where the wave is rough in the high salinity,it is likely to grow in the basin shallow water of a quiet wave in the low salinity.Most a growing vigorous thickly from winter to is It an alga for one year. But it declines in early summer.

Asakusanori’s total size is from 5 to 30cm,the width is from 1 to 15cm. Asakusanori is the typical of seaweed species.It is distributed in the Inland Sea,Pacific coast in the main island of Japan,Kyusyu,the Korean Peninsula,china,from the Tropical zone to the Frigid zone.

It is designated as an endangered species .The habitat decreases sharply by the environment’s that is appropriate for natural growth being lost.This cause for example land reclamation reclamation water pollution.Moreover,the shell in bottom of the sea is buried in mud and the growth condition of the trichome period has deteriorated.The habitat is found from a recent investigation, it is eight places in the whole country.But,there is no protection of a wild population. A natural purple laver is not gathered in various parts of Japan now. The purple laver has decreases on a nationwide scale. It is a cultivation kind of susabinori; Porphyra yezoensis Ueda.Asakusanori is the cultivation all one fishing. It is cultivated in nationwide various places. Aquaculture Asakusanori used for food. Aquaculture is winter in every place and it collected when grew about 20cm.

In summer this laver body is like a thread, and it digs a hole in the shell and lives ther. The trichome forms the sporangium and discharges the husk spore. It is parasitic in the rock, the tree, and the stake of the bamboo etc. It becomes a foliaceous body and it grows thickly in autumn.The other type becomes a foliaceous body. It is parasitic, and grows up when a single spore is discharged from the part of a foliaceous body in the surrounding area. The foliaceous body grows in the last ten days of September, and the period of maturity is from December to February. It grows especially in the basin and the vicinity of the mouth of a river where nourishment is abundant. Many of foliaceous bodies are monoecious but dioecious occasionally.The carpogonium and the sperm uteri are formed when maturing. When the sperm connects it to the carpogonium, the carpogonium is enlarged, divided, and discharges the spore of carpospore.

The cell is one layer and filmy. An asteroidal plastid pyrenoid (centers in the chloroplast where carbon dioxide is fixed) is seen in each cell.

Asakusanori is on the verge of extinction. But Amanori are found in Kochi along the coastline all winter.

Seiyou tanpopo: Taraxacum officinale

You can say dandelions are truly familiar plant and see them almost everyday from spring to autumn. Taraxacum officinale, one of dandelions, belonging to the chrysanthemum family are a native European plant and have become a naturalized Japanese plant. They grow in waysides and so on. They are different from the native species in that its bract is warped in flowering season. They bloom yellow or white flower all the year around except winter.

Taraxacum officinale are classified in the chrysanthemum family, sympetalae, vascular plant. The chrysanthemum family plants are known as the most evoluted and divided plant. Peculiarity of the chrysanthemum family plants is that gathering small flowers look like one flower. About 400 species of Taraxacum mainly live between the Temperate Zone and subtropics and about 20 species of them live in Japan.

Taraxacum officinale originally lived in Europe, but spread to each place of Japan after the importation as food in the Meiji Era. They live in road, wayside and wasteland. It seems that they resist competition because they live in place that other species grow. They have many systems, for example, the small type living in lawn, the big type for food and each of them grows according to the environment in Europe. The reason why they spread all around Japan is many varieties of them was introduced again and again. The type lives in lawns, the type grows in wastelands, the type lives in meadows where tall plants live are different in strategy, so, it is better that you think they are separate each other if they live adjoining place.

Taraxacum officinale bloom flower for a long period regardless of season. Its flower stalk is straight, don’t grow branches, grow capitulum to apex. Its aggregate fruits are spread by wind. If they are cut and lost the over ground part, they regenerate the leaves by nutriment in the root. They take apogamy, so seeds ripen by oneself in spite of pollen. Therefore , they have strong propagative power and widened the habitat. At the area lingering a rural landscape, the native species have a power. So, it can be said that taraxacum officinale are a indicator species for urbanization. In Europe or the Middle East, taraxacum officinale have been eaten for a long time. Though they are a little bitter, they be eaten for salad. Moreover, its dehydrated roots are known as a substitute for coffee and have effect on an increase in one’s appetite, improvement in function of the liver and so on. In a part of U.S.A., people utilize its flower petals for materials of the wine. As a medicinal herb, they work on uric disease, anemia, jaundice, neurosis.

In Kochi, we can watch taraxacum officinale easily. It may they are most popular plant.