Kerria japonica “Pleniflora”

Jews Mallow (3)Perhaps a little early for a full display, this Kerria japonica “Pleniflora” was sending out an advance scout in the warm sun this week.  Sometimes called the Japanese Rose it is indeed in the family Rosaceae and is native to China, Japan and Korea.   Thicket forming with tall lax stems up to 2m high, it can be a little untidy, and sometimes a little forward, in the garden.  This lithe shrub is named after the late 18th century/early 19th century Scottish plant hunter and gardener William Kerr who collected specimens in China for Sir Joseph Banks.  Unfortunately during his time in the east he developed an opium habit, this is thought to have led to his early death in 1814.  Not a very pretty story, but I think it is worth remembering that addiction is not a disease exclusive to modern times.  It is however a very beautiful shrub, perhaps we should dwell on that fact.  As Johnny Mercer wrote:

You’ve got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
And latch on to the affirmative
Don’t mess with Mister In-Between

You’ve got to spread joy up to the maximum
And bring gloom down to the minimum
And have faith or pandemonium is liable
To walk upon the scene

Most days anyway!

12 thoughts on “Kerria japonica “Pleniflora”

  1. Good that he is remembered by its name; cheerful!
    Doesn’t always behave in the garden, as you said, we should accentuate the positive… 🙂


  2. Lovely and cheerful flowers at this time of year and if it grows in heavy clay it is going on my wish list. Bing Crosby did an early version of the song, I’m not that old that I recall the record release but I do remember he sang it in a film.


    • I love a Bing Crosby film! I have a very old LP featuring Bing and Louis (Armstrong), as I only have an antique Dancette to play records on with electrics that which could feature in H&S film I haven’t played it for a while. I wonder if it is on there? Must find it and check.


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