Pieris japonica - Japanese Pieris
Family: Ericaceae

Hear the scientific name

Pieris japonica is an upright, ornamental shrub. Japanese Pieris is noted for emerging bronzed foliage, dark evergreen character, tiered branching, and showy white inflorescences in late winter.

F   E   A   T   U   R   E   S
  form2 form Form

-medium shrub

-to 10' tall x 8' wide but often smaller

-upright columnar in youth, becoming a spreading mound with age, somewhat tiered branching, with branching to the ground

-slow rate

foliage2 foliage Foliage

-evergreen, dark green

-alternate along stem becoming clustered at stem termini

-obovate with a cuneate base narrowing to a yellow petiole

-entire margins

-glabrous (shiny)

-new growth at first red or bronzed, becoming light green then eventually dark green


-white to creamy

-effective for 2-3 weeks in Mar.-Apr. and very showy

-pendulous branched inflorescences to 6" long

-each flower inverted urn-shaped and contrasting with the dark evergreen foliage

-floral buds form in previous summer and are attractive as immature inflorescences during winter


-not showy but noticeable

-brown 5-valved capsules


-yellow-red stems changing to dark gray branches, lightly furrowed and mottled with patches of silver

-buds very small and tan

trunk Trunk

-dark gray

-furrowed to platy

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-partial to full shade

-prefers a moist, rich, well-drained, slightly acid soil

-intolerant of full sun (in winter) and soil compaction


-zones 5 to 7


-native to Japan

U   S   A   G   E


-attractive year-round evergreen foliage

-showy white inflorescences in late winter and very early spring

-bronzed new foliage in early spring

-branching to the ground


-intolerance of full sun (winter desiccation)

-lace bug problems (sucks juice from leaves and causes yellowing)

-winter dieback often aided by phytophthora infestations on the stems

-chlorosis due to alkaline pH and iron deficiency


-foundation plant, usually as a specimen shrub


-fine texture

-thick density

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Varieties and Cultivars - Search OSU PlantFacts for additional plants in this species


-broadleaf evergreen shrubs (Buxus hybrids, Kalmia latifolia, Rhododendron species, Yucca filamentosa, etc.)

-shrubs with late winter or early spring flowers (Chaenomeles speciosa, Cornus mas, Corylus avellana 'Contorta', Hamamelis vernalis, etc.)


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