Panax japonicus

Botanical Name : Panax japonicus
Family: Araliaceae
Subfamily: Aralioideae
Genus: Panax
Species: Panax japonicus

Synonyms : P. pseudoginseng japonicus (C.A.Mey.)Hoo.&Tseng. P. repens. Max.

Common Names: Japanese Ginseng

Habitat :Panax japonicus is native to E. Asia – China, Japan. It grows in forests, forests in valleys; 1200-3600 m. S Anhui, N Fujian, Gansu, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, N India, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, NE Thailand, Vietnam].
Description:
Panax japonicus is a perennial herb growing to 0.6 m (2ft). Rootstock horizontal, flagellate or moniliform. Stem straight, glabrous. Leaves 3-5, verticillate at apex of stem, palmately compound; petiole base without stipule or stipulelike appendages; leaflets 5, obovate-elliptic to narrowly elliptic, 5-18 × 2-6.5 cm, membranous, both surfaces sparsely setose on veins, base broadly cuneate to subrounded, margin serrulate or biserrate, apex acuminate or long acuminate. Inflorescence a solitary, terminal umbel 50-80(or more)-flowered; peduncle 12-21 cm, glabrous or slightly pubescent; pedicels 7-12 mm. Filaments shorter than petals. Ovary 2-5-carpellate; styles 2-5, united to middle. Fruit red, subglobose, 5-7 mm in diam.; seeds 2-5, white, triangular-ovoid, 3-5 × 2-4 mm. Flower in. May-Jun and fruit in Jul-Sep….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain, though judging by its native range it should succeed outdoors in much of the country. This species has 24 chromosomes which makes it quite distinct from P. ginseng which has 44 chromosomes. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Requires a moist humus rich soil in a shady position in a woodland.

Propagation:
Seed – sow in a shady position in a cold frame preferably as soon as it is ripe, otherwise as soon as the seed is obtained. It can be very slow and erratic to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a shady position in the greenhouse or frame for at least their first winter. Make sure the pots are deep enough to accommodate the roots. Plant out into their permanent positions in late summer. Division in spring.

Edible Uses:…. Tea……The roots are used as a flavouring in teas and liqueurs. Some caution is advised, see the notes below on toxicity.

Medicinal Uses:

Expectorant; Febrifuge; Stomachic; Tonic.

Expectorant, tonic. A decoction of the root is expectorant, febrifuge and stomachic.

Other Uses: …Soap…..The root contains up to 5% saponins and it might be possible to utilize them as a soap.

Known Hazards: The root contains up to 5% saponins. Saponins are found in many foods, such as some beans, and although they are fairly toxic to people they are poorly absorbed by the body and most pass straight through without any problem. Thorough cooking will also break them down. Saponins are much more toxic to some creatures, such as fish, and hunting tribes have traditionally put large quantities of them in streams, lakes etc in order to stupefy or kill the fish.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Panax_japonicus
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Panax+japonicus
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=2&taxon_id=200015247

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