Herbs & Plants

Japanese Chaff Flower(Achyranthes japonica)

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Botanical Name :Achyranthes japonica
Family : Amaranthaceae
Synonyms: Achyranthes bidentata japonica – Miq.
Common names:Japanese chaff-flower
Genus : Achyranthes

Habitat : E. Asia – China, Japan(Honshu, Kyushu, Ryukyu Islands, Shikoku), Korea.  Woody areas in lowlands and hills

Perennial growing to 1m.It is Forb/herb.
It is hardy to zone 0. It is in flower from July to September, and the seeds ripen from September to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)


The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. The plant prefers acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It requires moist soil.

Cultivation :-
We have very little information on this species and do not know if it will be hardy in Britain. However, judging by the plants native range, it is likely to succeed outdoors at least in the milder areas of the country. The following notes are based on the general needs of the genus. Prefers a rich, sandy, slightly acid soil in partial shade.

Seed – sow late spring in a greenhouse. Germination should be fairly rapid, prick out the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich soil when they are large enough to handle. It is probably wise to grow this plant on in the greenhouse for its first winter, planting it out into its permanent position in late spring after the last expected frosts.

Medicinal Action &  Uses:-
Abortifacient; Analgesic; Antiinflammatory; Antispasmodic; Contraceptive; Diuretic; Hypotensive; Uterine tonic.

The root of the plant is used in Korea to treat oedema, rheumatism, delayed menses and as a contraceptive and abortifacient. The root contains triterpenoid saponins and has been shown to have analgesic, antiallergic, antiinflammatory, antispasmodic, diuretic, hypotensive and uterine stimulant properties. In addition, it contains protocatechuic acid, which has antioxidant properties, and also inhibits the aggregation of platelets.

Disclaimer:The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Other Uses
Two insect-moulting hormones are found in the seeds. This may have a practical application as an insecticide afterward.


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One reply on “Japanese Chaff Flower(Achyranthes japonica)”

This is now known as an invasive species in the US, and could cause real problems to our native ecosystems if it continues to spread. I highly discourage you from growing this species….. unless you live in Japan.

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