Mallotus japonicus - Food Wrapper Tree

  • Rarely cultivated but a rather beautiful ornamental shrub or small tree that comes from Japan where its leaves are used to wrap food, therefore they are edible (they are best when young). The Mallotus japonicus is easy to grow but dislikes hard frosts and prefers slightly acidic soil. Sponge-like orange-red flowers (on female plants) or reddish, smaller flowers (on male plants) open late Spring (sometimes in Autumn), followed by sand coloured fruits with red hairs, equally interesting (on female plants). The simple, hairy leaves have a purple appearance when young (in Spring), this gives another value to this lovely plant. Dioecious but both the male and female plant is interesting enough to own. It will grow best in a sheltered sunny spot, or by a South facing wall. 

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