Hovenia dulcis - Japanese Raisin Tree

Family - Rhamnaceae

Size - 30 to 35 feet in height with a spread about 2/3rds the height. Grows at a medium rate, about 2 feet per year. Upright-oval to rounded shape with many smaller lateral branches.

Foliage - Glossy green in summer. Fall color is a mixture of yellow.

Flower/Fruit/Seed - Flower is a 2 -3" diameter cyme consisting of many 1/3rd" diameter greenish white flowers occuring in mid June to early July. Slightly fragrant. Fruit is a reddish-brown drupe, about 1/3" in diameter about the size of a raisin, hence the name. They are sweet, and can be eaten.

Bark - Smooth, gray on young trees. On older trees it is a light gray, slightly furrowed, peeling in strips which reveals darker brown tones underneath.

Pests and Diseases - None serious

Landscape Use - Could be used in planters. A lot of information is not known on the uses of this tree. Seems to tolerate a wide variety of soils, pH, and exposures. Could make a nice tree for the residential landscape.

Performance - 8 Hardiness can be a problem above the southern region of zone 5. It should work well down in to zone 8. A Japanese Raisin Tree of about 18" diameter in Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Ky., was killed to the ground in the winter of 1993 when the temperature reached -22 F. Tolerates wind, but not wet conditions. Will grow in sun to light shade.


Japanese Raisin Tree

Japanese Raisin Tree foliage

Japanese Raisin Tree flowers

Japanese Raisin Tree cyme

Japanese Raisin Tree bark