Japanese Pepper Zanthoxylum piperitum
It’s also called “Japanese prickly ash” and rightfully so! The thorns are serious!
(Photo May 2018 Koyasan)
If you pinch the leaves you get a very pungent smell. Not peppery to my nose or tongue, what do you think?
I didn’t know until some digging, but Wakayama prefecture is the main area for sanshō production. (See Japanese website below)
Can you guess this plant just from this close up?
It’s blooming now in the Koyasan area.
It likes damp and shady places.
I found it under some trees near a small stream.
It’s called Kurinso 九輪草
“Nine rings plant”
Yuki No Shita 雪の下 Saxifraga stolonifera
Creeping Saxifrage, Strawberry Saxifrage, and Aaron’s Beard mother of thousands”…
It may look pretty similar but, it’s not a begonia or a geranium.
Native to Asia.
I love the leaves on this! They are supposed to be pretty good as tempura, really want to try it! Traditions are slowly fading out. I asked about 20 Japanese hikers if they’ve ever had it and ZERO had. They had heard about it but never tried it. Gotta ask the Obachans and Ojichans!
I’ve seen it a hundred times, but this was my first time to see this magic pink!
Always turn a leaf over and see what “the other side” looks like.