Kerria japonica (Japanese Kerria)

Michael's Opinion

A great shrub for a garden as an informal hedge, the golden yellow flowers are beautiful in bloom and the green stems add colour to your garden in the winter months.

Botanical Information

TypeShrub (deciduous)


USDA Hardiness Zone4 - 9
USDA Hardiness Ref.
Canadian Hardiness Zone2a - Requires cool season protection under glass.
Canada Hardiness Ref.
RHS Hardiness ZoneH4 - H7
RHS Hardiness Ref.
Temperature (°C)-35 - (-1)
Temperature (°F)-30 - 30
Height2 m
Spread1.5 m
Flowering PeriodJune, July, August

Description and Growing Information

General DescriptionSmall golden flowers, bright green stems year round, deeply veined leaves.
ID CharacteristicKerria japonica has distinct saucer shaped golden yellow flowers. Alternate deeply veined leaves and over sized leaves on none flowering stems.
ShapeLoose, unkempt and somewhat open.
PropagationBy clump division, layers or summer cuttings.
CultivationShould be planted in fertile, well drained soil, can be grown in full sun or in with partial shade if there is sufficient moisture.
PestsTwig blight and root rot along with cankers are issues that can affect the plant but they are not common.
Notable SpecimensThe A.M. (Mac) Cuddy Garden, Strathroy, Ontario, Canada.
Bark DescriptionVery distinct colour, bright green all through the winter, turns a yellow-green occasionally in autumn.
Bud DescriptionGreenish brown, usually with five exposed scales.
Leaf DescriptionAlternate, double serrate leaves, bright green to 4 cm long, half as wide. petiole is 4-6 mm long, over sized leaves are found on non-flowering stems.
Flower DescriptionSaucer shaped golden yellow flowers with 5 petals, the flowers bloom mid-May and have some prominent stamens.
Fruit DescriptionThe fruits are diminutive and a brown-black colour; nutlike.
Colour DescriptionBeautiful bright yellow flowers, with greenish- brown buds, stems are a bright green, that retains that colour all year.
Texture DescriptionFine texture in winter and in leaf.