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Cryptotaenia japonica 'Atropurpurea'

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(syn. Cryptotaenia canadensis subsp. japonica) Purple Japanese Wild Parsley or Mitsuba or Purple-leaved Japanese Honeywort (cryp-toe-TEE-knee-ah: jah-PON-i-cah: a-tro-pur-pur-EE-ah) Apiaceae:

An ornamental foliage plant with dark purple-red colored foliage, the leaves are deeply divided into thirds with segments roughly heart-shaped with slightly ruffled edges. Grows in open shade were it forms a bushy clump about 2 feet tall with atypical umbels of very small pinkish colored flowers produced in late summer and fall. Grow in moisture retentive soils, plants are not very drought tolerant but have done well in our dry beds with more than a half day of shade. Not long lived, the plants we have grow for about three or four years but will self seed some so new plants replace older plants reliably. In eastern Asia the plants are eaten, they have a slightly bitter taste which some describe as celery-like.

Zones 4-8

The species is native to eastern Asia, were it is found growing in damp places in forests and ditches. Germination is best when sown and keep at 45-55F, germination is spread-out over many weeks. Warm temps will delay germination.

100 seeds